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IN THE YEARS 1844, 1845, 1846. 










./*. : ! : *'.'..'., 







"* .I HE Author of the following pages deems it right, 

at the very outset, to state, that this Volume is not 

a mere narrative of Missionary proceedings. The 

primary object of his tour among the newly-opened 

"~ cities of China was to explore the ground, and to 

~* prepare the way for other Missionaries of the Church 

Q _ 

^ of England, by collecting statistical facts, by record- 

ing general observations, and by furnishing detailed 

data for rightly estimating the moral, social, and 

Apolitical condition of that peculiar nation. The 

Dreader must therefore be prepared to find in this 

^Volume a variety of topics handled, and of informa- 

mtion supplied, which might appear less appropriate 

^in a book professedly devoted to a strict narrative of 

Missionary work. The Author has felt that nothing, 

which can afford an insight into the institutions and 

character of the Chinese, however remotely affecting 

the Missionary work, can be inopportune or unim- 


portant in directing the mind to a proper selection of 
means for the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom. 

The following are extracts from the Instructions 
delivered, by the Church Missionary Society, to the 
Author and the fellow-labourer by whom he was ac- 
companied in the voyage from England, and in the 
earlier part of his residence in China : 

" Your Mission must necessarily be, in the first 
"instance, exploratory. And in such a work the 
" Committee must rather rely upon your own judg- 
" ment and prudence, than upon any Instructions 
" with which they can furnish you." 

* "After availing yourselves of every in- 
" formation which can be obtained at Hong Kong, 
" from these and other sources, it is the wish of the 
" Committee that you should visit each of the five 
" open ports of China, at such time and in such man- 
" ner as may be most likely to further your objects, 
" in order that you may be able, after full investi- 
" gation of the relative importance and facilities, in 
" respect of Missionary operations, of each accessible 
" point, to furnish the Committee with sufficient data 
" for determining in what spot, and in what mode, a 
" Mission of this Society may be best commenced. 
" The Committee invite you also freely to communi- 
f( cate to them your own judgment, and the sug- 
" gestions which you may feel inclined to offer to 
" them. But until you hear from them in reply, you 


" must consider your measures as merely of a prepa- 
" rative and temporary kind." 

The Church Missionary Society had formerly sent 
an agent to Singapore and to Macao the Rev. E. B. 
Squire, the present vicar of Swansea. On the break- 
ing out of the war he was compelled, by the delicate 
state of Mrs. Squire's health, to embark for Europe. 
When the intelligence arrived in England of the 
treaty of Nanking, and the opening of China to Mis- 
sionary efforts, many urgent solicitations were ad- 
dressed to the Committee to resume their attempt of 
establishing a Mission in China. They were for a 
time reluctantly compelled to decline the call through 
want of funds. At this juncture, an anonymous donor, 
who wished to be known only under the signature of 
'EXa;;<rrorgg>o, " less than the least," gave the large 
donation of 6000 consols to the Society for the 
special object of commencing a Mission in China. 
The donation was accepted on this condition : and in 
the beginning of June 1844 the Rev. T. M'Clatchie, 
B.A., and the Author, embarked for China. Mr. 
M'Clatchie is now the only Missionary of the Society 
in China, and has already commenced preaching to 
the Chinese in the city of Shanghai. 

The Author, in conclusion, expresses his earnest 
hope and prayer, that this narrative of his explora- 
tory tour in China may be accepted by the Great 
Husbandman of the Missionary vineyard, and be made 

A 2 


instrumental in exciting other labourers to enter on 
this promising field of Missionary enterprise, from 
which he himself has been, in the providence of God, 
removed by the failure of health. 



Salisbury Square, London, 

April 5th, 1847. 




OBJECTS of Visit to Canton Voyage in Chinese Vessel Na- 
tive Crew Whampoa Canton River Landing at Foreign 
Factories State of Public Feeling towards Foreigners 
Chinese Teacher, Choo Budhist Priest's Visit Leang Afa, 1 



Early History and Civilization Ancient Commercial Cele- 
brity Early Mahomedan Accounts Extended Intercourse 
with Europeans in the Sixteenth Century Troubles on 
Tartar Conquest of China Topography of City Division 
and Mutual Checks of Government Difficulty of Fo- 
reigners entering the City Proper Crowded Population 
Narrow Streets Shops River Population Blind Beg- 
gars Medical Missionary Hospital Its Moral Influence 
The Patients A Poor Scholar Surgical Operations 
The Parsees - 13 



Visit to Honan Monastery Numerous Temples, Monks, and 
Nuns in Canton Universal Idolatry Visit of some Petty 
Mandarins, and Priest's Alarm Religious Services In- 


terview with a High Chinese Military Officer Pending 
Examinations for Keu-jin Literary Degree General Ex- 
citement and Thirst for Literary Distinction Retarding 
Influence on National Improvement Notification of Suc- 
cessful Candidates Public Honours Visit of Tang-shin, 
a Literary Chinese - 31 



The Beggars' Square Excursion into Rural Hamlets of 
Honan Visit from Leang Afa's Son, A-tuh Excursion 
with a Native Preacher on the Banks of the River A 
Native Book Composed and Distributed to Discourage 
Female Infanticide Chinese Illuminations and Street- 
Theatricals - 48 



Voyage to Macao Description of the Place Its Former 
Importance and Present Decay Origin of the Settlement 
Its Peculiarity as a Missionary Station Popish Into- 
lerance Morrison and Milne Voyage to Hong Kong 
Detention at Hong Kong Missionaiy Excursions Vil- 
lages of Hong Kong Villages on the Mainland of China 
Agong, a Native Preacher Ordinance of the British 
Government against Secret Societies Political Origin of 
the "Triad Society" Chinese Population of Hong Kong 
Case of A-quei A Native Juggler - - 66 



Chinese Assault on Three British Gentlemen at Canton 
Remonstrance of British Plenipotentiary Rumoured Dis- 


turbances at Amoy Opportunity of a Passage in a War- 
steamer sent thither General Character of the Coast 
Successive Points of Shore Accident, arid Compulsory 
Return under sail to Hong Kong Voyage to Canton 
Recent Imperial Edict of Toleration in Favour of Chris- 
tianity - . - : - - 85 



Projected Missionary Services at the " Ningpo Exchange " 
Alarm of the Superintending Officers Friendliness of the 
Better Classes Defective Courage of Native Preachers 
Riotous Interruption of a Religious Service by a Chinese 
Mob Distribution of Tracts Invitation by a Petty Man- 
darin to accompany him into the City His subsequent 
Fright at the proposal being acceded to Ineffectual At- 
tempts to enter the City -gate - 95 



Visit to Yun-tang, a Chinese Gentleman Interest of Chinese 
in the Arts, Inventions, and Astronomy of the West Curi- 
osity of a Priest Native Treatise on Astronomy Chinese 
Ingenuity, and Ignorance of Physical Sciences Execution- 
Ground " Temple of Longevity" Powtinqua's Gardens 
Howqua's Suburban Dwelling Neglected Education of 
Females in China Annual Procession in honour of the 
Idol Shing-Kea General Review of Missionary Facilities 
at Canton - 108 



Arrival of Bishop Boone at Hong Kong Recent Acts of the 
Triennial Convention of the American Protestant Episcopal 


Church Embarkation for Shanghai Fellow-Passengers 
Skill of Chinese Fishermen Decoy-fish Gale in For- 
mosa Channel Chusan Group Entrance of River Yang- 
tze-keang Services on Board Entrance of Woosung 
River Chinese Forts and Battery British Opium Vessels 
Landing at Village of Woosung Journey overland in 
Chairs Arrival at Shanghai - - - 124 



First Impressions Topography of City General Features 
of surrounding Country Climate Natural Productions 
Character of People Estimated Population Commer- 
cial Importance and Connexion with the Interior Native 
Exports European Trade Local Authorities Capture of 
City by British Troops Outport to Soo-chow Growing 
Liberality of the Mandarins Roman-Catholic Settlement 
General View of Shanghai as a Missionary Station 
Tabular View of average Temperature for one Year - - 136 



A Roman-Catholic Ruin Missionary Excursion into the 
Interior Roman-Catholic Villagers Preaching in Hea- 
then Temples Visit to Northern Parts of the City Tri- 
umphal Arch to a Christian Mandarin The " Ching Wang 
Meaou" Newly-canonized Hero-warrior Caricature- 
Shops Missionary Services Trip round the City Walls 
Visit to a Corean Vessel Romish Church in Corea 
The "Hall of United Benevolence" "Foundling Hos- 
pital" The " Hall of the Lord of Heaven "Visit from a 
Corean Sailor Popish Mariolatry - - 143 




Voyage to Ningpo Descent of the Yang-tze-keang Bay of 
Chapoo Chinese Pilot City of Chin-hai Ascent of 
River and Arrival at Ningpo Renewed Civility of Cus- 
tom-house Officers Proposed Lodging in a Taouist Mo- 
nastery Renting a Chinese House, and attendant For- 
malities Access to the Family of a Chinese Patriarch 
Absurd Principles of Native Medicine Facts illustrative 
of Chinese Ideas on Marriage Situation of House The 
Tower of Ningpo Visit to a Mahomedan Mosque Re- 
turn-Visit of a Mahomedan Priest A Roman-Catholic 
Patient - - 161 



Personal Adventures on the Journey Rural Scenery Arri- 
val at the Budhist Monastery of Teen-tung Visit to the 
Abbot Library Religious Hopes of Budhism Neigh- 
bouring Villages and Out-temples Budhist Rosary A 
Village Schoolmaster Return to Ningpo The "Ching- 
wang-meaou" Temples in honour of Confucius Visits 
to a Siamese Vessel - - . . 179 



Topography Local Magistrates System of Provincial Go- 
vernment Disgrace and Ruin of Former Mandarins 
Effects of the British War on Rulers and People At- 
tempt of the Chinese to recapture the City Literary 
Reputation of Ningpo Privileges of Scholars Native 
Products and Employments of Inhabitants Former Splen- 
dour of the place Facilities as a Missionary Station 
Climate Moral Condition of People Recapitulation - - 191 




Visit to the Island of Chusan City of Ting-hai Interview 
with a Romish Padre Similarity between Popish and 
Budhistic Ceremonies Traditionary Origin of Bonzes 
Return to Ningpo Annual Offerings to Departed Spirits 
Temporary Abode in a Taouist Monastery Taouist Lay- 
brother Female Worshippers Taouist Abbot and Priests 
Chinese Garden and Artificial Grounds Visit to a Na- 
tive Doctor Mahomedan Shopkeeper Application of 
Opium-smokers for Medicine Visit to a Budhist Nunnery 
A Native Pawnbroker Visit to His Excellency the 
Taou-tai Ceremony of Reception A Chinese Entertain- 
ment Topics of Conversation Visit to the deposed Taou- 
tai His Public Integrity and Misfortunes - - 202 



Animated Appearance of Country Ancestral Temples 
Contributions to a Bag for Idols Chinese Agriculture 
Gratuitous Travellers' Rest Dragon-boats Budhist 
Vigils in Monastery Exploratory Visit to Distant Villages 
Illiterate Priests Inquiring Spirit of a Tea-farmer 
Friendliness of the Abbot Hospitality of the Villagers 
Grace to an Idol Process of consulting the Idols Ascent 
of the "Tae pih san" Ridge Entertainment by a Chinese 
Gentleman Return to Ningpo - 225 




Roman Catholics in Ningpo Chinese Military Archery- 
Ebullition of Popular Odium against the New "Che-heen" 


Effect of Reading the New Testament on a Native Mer- 
chant Rebellion of Fung-kwa Repulse of Troops Final 
Compromise A Class of Hereditary Bondsmen Religious 
Service Review of actual Missionary Labours at Ningpo 
Arrival at Chusan The Visit and Reception of the 
French Embassy Christian Services among British Troops 
in a Budhist Temple ..... 243 



Topography Character of Population Natural Productions 
Events of first Capture by British Excesses of Troops 
Native Pillagers Menacing Edicts of Chinese Govern- 
ment Chinese Kidnappers Sufferings of British Soldiers 
Armistice and Cession of Chusan Insincerity of Chinese 
Government Re-capture of Chusan Rapid Successes of 
British Expedition along the Coast Treaty of Nanking 
and Retention of Chusan Mingled Influence of British 
Occupation British Administration of Police Foreign 
Trade Missionary Prospects Popular Feeling on re- 
verting to their own Native Government - - 258 



Voyage to Shanghai Comparative View of the two Missio- 
nary Stations of Shanghai and Ningpo A New Sect of 
Moralists in the Interior of China An Original Work on 
Geography, by Commissioner Lin Chinese Schoolmaster 
and Scholars A Chinese Graduate's Reverence of the 
Written Character A Convict suffering by Deputy 
Military Reviews Offensive Epithets to Foreigners Pro- 
cession of the Taou-tai Recent Supplement to the Edict of 
Toleration Voyage to Chusan - - 280 




Voyage to Pootoo Various Localities of the Island The 
" Pah-kwa "The " Seen-sze "The " How-sze "Roman- 
tic Scenery Hospitality of the Abbot Priest importuning 
for Gifts to the Idols Collegiate System of Succession to 
Temple-benefices The " Ying-sew " Palpable Decay of 
Budhism Funeral of a Priest Avarice and Ignorance of 
Monks Questions of People Visit to the Summit of 
" Fuh ting shan" A newly-arrived Votary General Re- 
view of Pootoo, and its Influence in the Diffusion of 
Budhism - 299 



Concluding Occurrences at Chusan Political Fears of the 
Chinese Excursion across .the Island Cases illustrative 
of the Advantage of Medical Missionary Efforts Voyage 
to Foo-chow Roman-Catholic Pilots Mouth of the River 
Min Picturesque Scenery Approach to the City - - 317 



Novel Appearance of River-population The Bridge of Foo- 
Chow Vivid Scenes of a Chinese Suburb British Con- 
sulate View of the City from the Summit of the " Woo- 
shih shan" State of Relations between the British Consul 
and the Local Mandarins Punishment of some Tartars for 
Assault An Excursion around the City-walls - 327 



Excursions up the River and into the remote parts of the 
City Visit to the District of the Manchow Tartars? 


Anxiety of Police to prevent a Disturbance Gradual 
Friendliness of the Tartar Soldiery The " Hot-baths " 
Present Position of the Tartars throughout the Empire 
The Contingency of a General Revolution in China consi- 
dered Latitudinarianism of Taouist and Budhist Priests 
Roman Catholics Mahomedans Detailed Occur- 
rences of the New-Moon Festival Culprits wearing the 
Wooden Collar Wretched Class of Beggars Suburb of 
Nantai Fishing Cormorants Case of Superstition and 
Priestcraft - - 343 



Topography Local Trade Opium-drain of Specie Native 
Im ports and Exports Monetary System Prospects in 
reference to a European Trade Character of People 
Neighbouring Country Number of Resident Graduates, 
and General System of Literary Promotion Disposition of 
Local Mandarins Prevalent Feeling towards Foreigners 
Missionary Aspect - . - 360 



Voyage to Amoy Description of the Harbour Capture of 
Amoy, and Occupation of Koo-lang-soo by the British 
Circumstances attending the first Arrival of Protestant 
Missionaries at Amoy The Island of Koo-lang-soo Suf- 
ferings of the People from War and Pestilence Idolatrous 
Rites for averting their Calamity European Graves 
The Missionaries' Burial-place - - 376 



Interview with the "Hai-hong" Large Collection of An- 
cestral Tablets Idol-shops Friendliness of People Mis- 
sionary Services Regular Attendants Service for Chinese 
Females - - - - 388 




Customary Observances of the New Year Moral Tracts by 
Native Scholars Antithetical Sentences over the Entrance 
of Houses Busy Adjustment of Pecuniary Matters An- 
nual Custom of " Surrounding the Furnace" A Family 
Scene Superstitious Mode of prognosticating the Seasons 
of the coming Year New -Year Visits to some Chinese 
Friends Ta laou-yay Lim-pai Lim seen-sang Tan 
seen-sang Universal Prevalence of Gambling A Missio- 
nary Service - 401 



A Chinese Bride Visit to the Te-tok, or Chinese Admiral 
His Adroitness in escaping the British War His recent 
Disgrace The Cham-hoo, or Military Commandant His 
Discussion with the Missionaries, and Defence of Idolatry 
The Taou-tai, or Prefect, a Manchow Tartar The Hai- 
quan, or Inspector of Customs, a Manchow The Hai-hong, 
or Lord Mayor A Budhist Nunnery The Privileged In- 
corporation of Beggars - 418 



Visit to Opium-Dens Confessions of Opium-Smokers 
Moral and Physical Effects of Opium Local System of 
Smuggling, and Mode of Retail Detailed Testimony of 
ten consecutive cases of Opium-Smokers, taken from their 
own lips - 431 


Trip to surrounding Villages Testimony of Villagers as to 
the Prevalence and the Motives of Infanticide Village 


Clanships Ancestral Temple Village School-house - 
Confessions of Infanticide Parents Modes of Death com- 
monly practised Hospitality of a Medical Patient Case 
of Attempted Infanticide Degradation of the Female Sex, 443 


Chinese Missionary Meeting Celebration of the Feast of 
Lanterns A Giant Specimen of Pyrotechnic Skill Cessa- 
tion of Holidays, and General Resumption of Business 
The Question of the Ancestral Tablet discussed Chinese 
Bible-Class Topics of Missionary Sermons Original 
Illustrations of Chinese Hearers Indirect Persecution of a 
Religious Inquirer - - 454 



Revised Translation of the Holy Scriptures Proceedings at 
a Meeting of the Local Translation Committee Special 
Entertainment to the Missionary Body, given jointly by 
the Five High Mandarins of Amoy Previous Invitation 
and Arrangements Ceremonies of Entrance and Recep- 
tion ^Etiquette of Precedence Details of Feast Topics 
of Conversation Ceremonies of Departure The secret 
Motives which prompted these Attentions - 470 



Early Intercourse with Europe Commercial Enterprise of 
the People Chinese Emigrants Topography of the City 
and Island The " White Stag Hill" Boundary Regula- 
lations A Roman-Catholic Village Another Explanatory 
Edict of Religious Toleration Attempts at Concealment 
by the JMandarins Local Prizes for Literary Merit 
Local Dialect Moral Degradation of the People Missio- 
nary Aspect of Amoy - , 480 




Incidents of last Sabbath at Amoy Farewell Attentions of 
Chinese Friends Voyage to Hong Kong Visit to Canton 
Comparative Review of Missionary Openings at Canton 
and in the Northern Ports of China Recent Riots at 
Canton Difficulties of Ke-Ying Present Dangers of 
China An Apology for the Chinese Government in their 
Exclusion of Opium The Duty of the Christian Legisla- 
tors of Britain - 492 



First Occupation of Hong Kong Gradual Influx of Settlers 
Topography of the Island General Reflections on the 
Influence and Prospects of Britain in the East Ineligi- 
bility of Hong Kong as a Centre of Missionary Operations 
Climate Moral and Social Character of the Chinese 
Population Diversity of Dialects European Influences - 503 



Actual Missionary Labours Morrison Education Society 
Medical Missionary Hospital Roman-Catholic Mission at 
Hong Kong Statement of Views respecting the Educa- 
tion of a Native-Christian Agency Printing Establish- 
ments Superior Missionary Facilities in the Four Northern 
Ports General Views of the Missionary Work in China 
Qualifications needed in Missionary Labourers Appeal 
to the Christian Parents and Youth of Britain Concluding 
Observations List of Protestant Missionaries in China - 515 



MAINLAND - Frontispiece 

MAP OF CHINA - - To face p. 1 

VIEW OF MACAO - ... 67 



NEAR NINGPO . . . 226 
DRAGON BOATS - ... 228 

POINT 503 


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ON Wednesday evening, Oct. 2, 1844, a week after 
our coming to anchor in the spacious harbour of 
Hong Kong, the Rev. T. M'Clatchie and myself em- 
barked on board a native fast-boat, which we had 
hired to convey us to Canton. The immediate object 
of our going thither was to procure a native teacher 
of the Mandarin, or Court dialect, and, at the same 
time, to endeavour to ascertain the precise nature of 
local facilities for Missionary enterprise, by personal 
survey and a temporary residence in that city. We 
had also grounds for indulging the hope, that a Native 
Budhist Priest, late Abbot of a neighbouring temple, 
and a man of superior learning, might be induced to 
become our teacher, and to permit us to rent apart- 
ments in the temple, where we should have very desi- 
rable opportunities of facilitating our acquaintance 
with the colloquial medium, by mixing and conversing 


with the numerous resident Priests, many of whom 
speak the Court dialect. 

Weighing anchor at about seven P. M., we sailed be- 
fore a fresh breeze from the north-east, which carried 
us along at about six knots an hour. We were soon 
beyond the numerous shipping, and passed out of the 
harbour to the north-west ; the numerous lights which 
marked the streets and buildings of the new town of 
Victoria growing more and more faint, and at last 
vanishing altogether from our view. Sailing through 
the Cap-singmun channel, which separates the lofty 
ridge of the Lantao island, at the distance of about 
a mile, from the rocky elevation of the opposite main- 
land of China, we proceeded northward through the 
eastern part of the spacious Delta of the Shoo-Keang 
or Pearl River. Our novel position, amid a crew of 
about twelve Chinese the fact of our being alone 
among heathen people the reflection of the ho- 
nourable, yet responsible office we sustained as 
Missionary heralds from the Church of England to 
these dark regions of superstition the important 
objects of our mission to China and the painful evi- 
dences which we were, from time to time, called to 
witness of the influence of idolatry over the minds of 
those on board, performing their idle, unmeaning 
religious offerings awakened in our minds thoughts 
of pensive melancholy, mingled, however, with joy in 
the prospect of the Missionary work, which we had 
only partially realized in former times. Our boat 
had two large mat-sails, which were managed with 
great skill, being raised and lowered by moveable 
ropes ; so that in a few moments we were at any time 
able to alter our tack, or to reef, in order to avoid the 


sudden gusts of wind. The sailors lay on the deck 
in different parts of the vessel. The central part of 
the boat was formed into a cabin, with Venetians at 
the side, forming a kind of poop above, on which one 
of the crew kept watch. In this cabin we laid our- 
selves down ; and, though sleeping in our clothes, we 
succeeded in obtaining a good night's rest. At day- 
light we found ourselves within the Bogue, or Bocca 
Tigris, the entrance to the river, and within a few 
miles of Whampoa. About noon we found our little 
vessel gliding through the numerous fleet of ships 
from all nations, which occupied the whole extent 
of the river, called Whampoa Reach. The wind be- 
coming moderate, and at last dying away altogether, 
our progress thence to Canton was very slow, and, 
at times, almost imperceptible. The country around 
was very beautiful, though, in many parts, presenting 
a rather monotonous appearance of paddy-fields, plan- 
tain-trees, orange-groves, bamboo-fences, and a few 
gardens. The hills were cultivated in terraces along 
their sides to the very top, assuming, in some parts, 
a rocky, precipitous appearance. Numerous pagodas 
and native houses, of fantastic architecture, gave a 
variety to the scenery ; while, as we approached 
nearer to the provincial city, the old half-dilapidated 
forts, which lined the river on either side as it became 
narrower, told of the impoverished exchequer of the 
executive government. The increased number of 
houses, the multitudes of native boats, and the density 
of the smoky atmosphere, indicated our proximity 
to Canton. The strange scenes of a Chinese city 
soon presented themselves in all their vivid and 
novel force. *We rowed slowly along the centre of 


the river, which is here about three or four furlongs 
wide, through the thousands of strange vessels of 
every shape, colour, and size, which, from every 
nation of the East, are attracted by the gains of com- 
merce to this emporium of the Middle Kingdom. 
The beating of gongs, the frequent burning of gilt 
paper, the noisy discharge of fireworks and crackers, 
and the animated looks of curiosity with which the 
motley tribes of the river-population regarded our 
appearance, tended to enliven the scene. Beyond the 
river, with its crowded myriads of naturalized tenants, 
one continued mass of buildings, of nearly one uniform 
appearance, lay before us. Here and there some 
pagoda or mosque, or, again, the abode of some more 
opulent citizen, varied the monotony of aspect. The 
British flag, floating above the consular residence on 
our right, soon reminded us that, even at this distant 
quarter of the world, the power of our native land 
was felt and respected. Soon after, we came in sight of 
the foreign factories, towards which we made our 
course ; and, amid the noisy clamours of boatmen and 
boat- worn en, and the closely-packed range of boats 
which blocked up the shore, with difficulty, and after 
much delay and confusion, we landed, and within a few 
minutes received the kind Christian welcome of an 
excellent American Missionary, Dr. Parker, who of- 
fered us a temporary home. The expense and 
inconvenience of hiring a house and servants, and 
the uncertainty of our stay, decided us in accepting 
his kindly-proffered hospitality ; and in a few hours 
our two beds were placed at one end of our room, 
and tables ranged for our teachers at the other end. 
The period of our arrival in Canton was one of 


unusual popular excitement. The spirit of hostility 
towards foreigners, engendered by two centuries of 
unequal intercourse, frequently fanned into arrogant 
fury by the calumniatory edicts of the rulers, and, 
alas! too frequently inflamed by the moral impro- 
prieties and insolent demeanour of foreigners them- 
selves, had been for a time overawed by the events of 
the late war with the British. The withdrawal of the 
British troops from the heights of Canton, and their 
purchased immunity from the sanguinary horrors of a 
bombardment, had been ascribed, by popular igno- 
rance, to fear and cowardice. Of this misapprehen- 
sion the Mandarins showed no desire to disabuse 
the popular mind, and to lower the majesty of Chi- 
nese power. Natives of candour and education could 
not but feel the undoubted evidence of national humi- 
liation, in their knowledge of the events of the war 
in the more northern parts of China, and the perio- 
dical payment of the ransom, however speciously 
disguised under the professed object of " tranquillizing 
the barbarians." But a strange infatuation seemed 
to possess the minds of the Canton populace ; and 
they ascribed it to the corrupt venality and cowar- 
dice of the Mandarins alone that the whole British 
armament in the neighbourhood had not been de- 
stroyed. They even cherished the confident expec- 
tation and eager determination, that, in the next war, 
the barbarians should not escape so easily. The 
injuries sustained in the western portion of the 
suburbs from the British ships of war anchored in 
the river, and the large number of idle, reckless vaga- 
bonds who now infested the neighbourhood, without 
any visible means of livelihood but roguery and 


plunder, tended to perpetuate the vindictive hatred of 
the mob. Every object which reminded them of 
their humiliation, or awakened their jealousy, was the 
occasion of a new ebullition of popular wrath. Of 
this kind was the contemplated rebuilding of the 
English factories, which had some months before been 
maliciously destroyed by supposed incendiaries. The 
Americans, though apparently enjoying more of favour 
in the eyes of the native authorities than the violent 
and formidable British, were, nevertheless, equally the 
object of popular scorn ; the more especially so on 
account of a recent affray, in which an American had 
shot a Chinese, by whom he was assaulted in a tumult. 
An arrow, which served as a weather-vane on the top 
of the flag-staff of the American Consulate, had been 
deemed, by vulgar prejudice, to be the ill-omened 
cause of some recent local calamities ; and, as such, 
was the occasion of the assemblage of an infuriated 
mob in front of the factories, determined to destroy 
the hateful and pernicious emblem of supposed de- 
structiveness. At the private request of some of the 
native authorities, the Americans had withdrawn this 
subject of popular tumult. Still the flame of hostility 
could not be extinguished, though temporarily allayed. 
Numerous placards were posted on the public walls, 
threatening the native contractors and workmen with 
certain death if they did not immediately desist 
from rebuilding the factories. On this account the 
works had been discontinued, and an outbreak was 
daily expected. 

Ke-Ying, the pacific, liberal, and enlightened 
Governor of the two Kwang Provinces, at this junc- 
ture had issued a public edict against these disturbers 


of the peace, and the movement was, for the present, 
checked. Various public addresses, from time to 
time, were also sent forth, professing to be the ex- 
hortation of the "gentry and scholars" of a particular 
locality, abounding with sundry arguments inculcating 
the duty of subordination and obedience to the pater- 
nal rule of their superiors, and containing some 
partial invectives against the malicious outrages of 
the barbarians. Such a season was not the most 
favourable for estimating the pacific disposition of the 
natives towards those who imported the commerce, 
the science, or the religion of the West into the 
furthest extremities of the East. 

During our six weeks' residence at Canton there 
was happily no interruption to the public tranquillity ; 
and we had the happiness to find, that the indications 
of popular antipathy were generally confined to the 
lowest classes and the dregs of the populace, in every 
community the more numerous, though the less influ- 
ential portion of society. It will afterwards be seen 
how far the inconveniences and danger of such a state 
of the popular mind were realized in our own expe- 
rience and knowledge. The first two or three days 
were spent in visiting the various places of resort and 
objects of curiosity, calculated to impress the mind of 
a stranger with the manners, the character, the 
genius, the arts, the degree of civilization, the moral, 
social, and religious condition of the remarkable peo- 
ple, so long debarred, by an exclusive policy, from 
the genial influences of Christendom. 

Our time, however, was precious ; and we felt that 
it was not in the capacity of scientific travellers, 
seeking to enrich the stores of secular knowledge, or 


merely to enlarge the bounds of our acquaintance with 
the national peculiarities of this heathen land, that 
we had been brought to these dark regions of super- 
stition and idolatry. 

Accordingly, within two or three days after our 
arrival, Choo, an aged native, and for thirty years 
teacher successively to the late Rev. Dr. Morrison and 
his lamented son, was engaged to come to our abode, 
and was duly installed in his office as our teacher. 
He speaks with much affection of both, especially of 
Mr. R. J. Morrison, who would have provided him 
with the means of support during his declining years, 
had his life been spared. He came in great poverty 
to our host, saying, that, within two months after Mr. 
Morrison's death, he had been dismissed from the 
employ of Government at Hong Kong, and had been 
in great distress and penury. He had nine mouths 
in his family, and begged the assistance of our friend. 
Though only fifty-five years of age, he has a much 
older appearance, from the debilitating, emaciating 
influence of opium- smoking, to which he confesses he 
has, in past times, been addicted, but makes profes- 
sions of reformation ; an assertion of which we had 
frequent reasons for doubting the truth. We en- 
gaged his services, and found his matured experience 
a fair counterbalance to his visible decay of energy. 

The Budhist Priest, to whom a reference has been 
made, waited upon us, with all the formality of Chi- 
nese etiquette, from the temple on the opposite side 
of the river, named Hae-Chwang-sze, but better 
known as " the Honan joss-house." He discouraged 
the project of our taking lodgings in the temple ; 
assigning, as his reason, the danger to which we 


should be exposed of an outbreak of popular hatred, 
on the other side of the river, at a distance from the 
European factories. He thought that possibly we 
should be safe in coming to him during the day ; but 
that to pass the night in the temple would be attended 
with imminent personal hazard to himself, as well as 
to us. He suggested the plan of our chartering a 
native vessel, and living on the river ; in which case 
he was willing to become our guest, and to remain 
with us altogether. This, for obvious reasons, we 
declined ; and the only alternative was, if practicable, 
to engage his services as our teacher at our own 
abode. The chief difficulty was his independent 
situation, which rendered him unwilling, as he said, to 
engage his services as a hireling, or in any other 
capacity than that of a friend. He had served his 
course of three years as Abbot ; and having fulfilled 
the legal period, retired into privacy, according to 
the rules of the institution, having attained the 
highest summit of ambition, as the Superior of the 
richest and most famous temple in Canton. Accord- 
ing to the ancient regulations of the order, he had an 
ample allowance from the temple-revenues for his 
support; and was permitted to travel into foreign 
countries, probably as much with a view of avoiding 
feuds between the Abbots who successively pass the 
chair, as for the purpose of enlarging their knowledge. 
A short time since he was very anxious to visit 
America, and had consulted one of the Missionaries 
on the subject. He had cherished the intention of 
visiting England, in company with Mr. Morrison ; but 
the unexpected death of the latter had dissipated all 
such plans. He remained to dine with us; and, 


arrayed in his long, black, flowing robes, with his head 
completely shaven, he presented an imposing specta- 
cle to our party. He endeavoured to show little acts 
of polite attention, by asking our age, and placing on 
our plates some fruit and sweetmeats, which we were 
obliged to eat, by the rules of Chinese etiquette, as a 
mark of our appreciating the attentions. By the rules 
of the monastic order, the monks abstain from flesh 
and strong beverages. But the Priest, on this occasion, 
seemed to have no great scruples on these points ; 
and, as well as he could, being supplied with Chinese 
chop-sticks, he endeavoured to give due honour to the 
provisions set before him. His whole demeanour 
was that of a perfect gentleman, and exhibited a mix- 
ture of true modesty and graceful dignity. Though 
in the latter stages of our acquaintance we had reasons 
for suspecting him of avarice and pride, yet the visit 
of such a man to Europe would be a new era in our 
intercourse with China, and might have important 
results in changing the native disposition towards 

Before his departure we had a visit from an indi- 
vidual, well known by name in Europe and America 
as the first-fruits of modern Protestant Missionary 
efforts among the Chinese, and the first Native Evan- 
gelist to his fellow-countrymen, Leang" Afa. He 
appeared about sixty years of age, a man of sturdy 

* The portrait of this remarkable man is in the Chinese Exhibi- 
tion in London, numbered 1032 in the Catalogue. The proprietor 
of the Exhibition testified to the liberality and obliging efforts by 
which he was assisted by the Abbot in procuring for the collection 
various specimens of vertd from the interior of the Empire. 


dimensions, of cheerful manners, and venerable aspect. 
He seemed greatly interested in our arrival, and 
joined with much animation in the conversation. 
The sight of such a trophy of the converting power 
of God's grace excited emotions of joy in our minds, 
such as can only be estimated by those placed in a 
similar situation. It refreshed the weary eye, as the 
fair green oasis in the desert. The circumstances 
under which we met were somewhat remarkable. 
On the one hand was a native scholar, accounted wise 
and honourable, and yet the slave of a debasing ido- 
latry, ignorant of the true God, and of Jesus Christ the 
Saviour of mankind. On the other hand sat a Chinese, 
less deeply versed, perhaps, in the vagaries of Pagan 
learning, but taught by the Spirit of God, and rescued 
from sin and death by Divine Grace. Here we saw 
the contrast between nature and grace the wisdom 
of this world and the wisdom of God. I was pleased 
to observe that neither Leang Afa nor the Priest 
showed any marks of an uncourteous disposition. 
They exchanged the usual signs of salutation, and 
conversed with each other with apparent affability. 
The Christian meekness of the one, and the true na- 
tive politeness of the other, prevented the indication 
of any thing like illiberal antipathy. Of the one it is 
sufficient to say, that neither his fears of persecution, 
nor his long expatriation from China to the Straits of 
Malacca, nor the influence of surrounding heathenism, 
had deterred him from boldly confessing the Saviour. 
Of the other, it is no slight commendation to assert, 
that he only requires the sanctifying influence of the 
Gospel, to raise him immeasurably above the gene- 
rality of his countrymen. We esteemed ourselves 


fortunate in finally securing his attendance as our 
teacher of the Court dialect for a few hours daily. 

Our time was henceforth fully occupied by our 
Chinese studies, and the visits which we made from 
time to time to those localities which were accessible 
to foreigners, and calculated to supply the mind with 
interest and information. 













THE city of Canton is one of the oldest cities in this 
part of the Empire, and native historians vie with each 
other in the effort to trace its annals to the remotest 
antiquity, and to call in the tales and wonders of my- 
thology to their aid. Without dwelling on the vaunt- 
ing statements in the native classics, and the events 
connected with the name of the famous Yaou, who, 
4000 years ago. commanded one of his Ministers to 

v C? * 

repair to the South and govern the " splendid capital " 
and its surrounding country, we come down to the 
period of sober narrative, and behold Canton an im- 
portant city of the South, possessing a fair measure of 
improvement, an industrious population, the advan- 
tages of commerce, and a moderate portion of the 


blessings of civilization, at a time when our own 
country was excluded, by the barbarous cruelty of our 
ancestors, from intercourse with the civilized world, 
or was the prey to the marauding expeditions of every 
plundering adventurer. So early as two centuries 
and a quarter before the Christian era, the people of 
the South for many years carried on a successful re- 
bellion against the Emperor Che Hwang of the Tsin 
dynasty ; and what is now the site of the city of Can- 
ton became the scene of the sanguinary horrors of a 
protracted siege. The imperial forces were routed ; 
the siege was raised ; and not till about 200 B.C. did 
the rebellious tribes of these Southern frontiers submit 
to the imperial sway in the person of the founder of 
the Han dynasty. 

There are strong grounds for stating the opinion 
that a considerable intercourse existed between the 
natives of India and the people of Canton soon after 
the Christian era. It is not till the time of the Tang 
dynasty, about 600 A.D., that Canton became a regu- 
lar commercial emporium, with fixed regulations and 
a tariff. Extortions at this early period frequently 
drove the foreign merchants to seek other marts for 
their commodities. Cochin China for a time shared 
the profits that were diverted from Canton ; and a 
spirit of hostile rivalry, sometimes leading to open 
war, was excited between the Cochin Chinese and the 
people of Canton. In spite of these obstacles to its 
growing commerce and importance, this city made 
rapid strides in improvement and the enlargement 
of its foreign intercourse. To such an extent had it 
increased, that in the account of a Mahomedan tra- 
veller, generally considered genuine and authentic, 


who visited Canton before the close of the ninth cen- 
tury, we have the following statement, in reference to 
a recent rebellion and massacre of the inhabitants 
who persisted in their loyalty : " At last he (the 
leader of the rebels) became master of the city, and 
put all the inhabitants to the sword. There are 
persons fully acquainted with the affairs of China, 
who assure us, that, besides the Chinese who were 
massacred upon the occasion, there perished one hun- 
dred and twenty thousand Mahomedans, Jews, Chris- 
tians, and Parsees, who were there on account of 
traffic. The number of the professors of these four 
religions, who thus perished, is exactly known ; be- 
cause the Chinese are extremely nice in the account 
they keep of them." At this early period it is also 
related " that at Canfu (the ancient name of Canton), 
which is the principal scale for merchants, there is a 
Mahomedan appointed judge over those of his reli- 
gion, by the authority of the Emperor of China." One 
of the most considerable objects which the traveller 
sees rising before him, as he approaches the provincial 
city, is a lofty pagoda, different in form and structure 
from every other building, and which, on inquiry, he 
is told is the Mahomedan mosque, built above a thou- 
sand years ago. After the city had experienced its 
full share of tumults, wars, bloodshed, and the other 
calamities of a semi-civilized state, we arrive at that 
important epoch in the history of commerce, the com- 
mencement of the sixteenth century, when, by the 
discovery of the passage by the Cape of Good Hope, 
the doors were thrown open to a more frequent and 
extended intercourse between China and Europe. 
The Portuguese led the way, and were quickly fol- 


lowed by English, Spanish, and Dutch adventurers. 
These times of peaceful industry and prosperous com- 
merce were unhappily again disturbed by the troubles 
consequent on the subjugation of the Empire by the 
Manchow Tartars. The people of Canton, faithful to 
the former Ming native dynasty, raised the standard 
of revolt, and, under the leadership of a native prince, 
tried the issue of war. The Tartar armies soon re- 
duced the neighbouring provinces to submission; and 
after defending itself against the assaults of the be- 
siegers, Canton at last fell, probably by the treachery 
of the prefect of the city, who was permitted by the 
conquerors quietly to retain his office. Some native 
accounts depict in awful colours the carnage which 
ensued, and state the number of the slain at 700,000. 
The old city was reduced to ashes, from the ruins of 
which the present city of Canton has gradually risen, 
and has, under the Tartar sway, enjoyed a course 
of uninterrupted tranquillity, during which it has 
risen to be the first commercial emporium of the 
Empire, to which, till recently, all foreign commerce 
was restricted by the Tartar jealousy of foreign influ- 
ence. Roving bands of lawless banditti, called into 
existence by the frequent troubles during the change 
of dynasties, and by what are called the fortunes of 
war, even now continue to be the scourge of the dis- 
trict, as they are also indications of the ineffective 
character of the administration of police. 

Such is the brief, though imperfect, outline of 
the changes to which Canton has been subject in 
the various vicissitudes of its history. It partakes 
of the usual appearance of Oriental cities ; and fur- 
nishes a good specimen of Chinese cities in general. 


The surrounding scenery presents nothing remarkably 
striking to the eye. The neighbouring country is one 
large plain of well-cultivated fields, with a bold range of 
hills in the distance to the north-east. The city itself, 
i.e. the part contained within the walls, is. of compara- 
tively moderate extent, the whole circuit of walls pro- 
bably not exceeding six miles. A wall running from 
east to west divides what is called the Old City, in 
which the Tartar population and garrison reside, 
from the New City, which is not more than a third of 
tile size of the former, and lies on the south. At 
either extremity of this, a wall is carried down to the 
river, at one or two hundred yards' distance. The 
suburbs are very extensive, and exceed in extent the 
city itself. 

The different departments of Government are so 
arranged, as to keep up a mutual check upon each 
other. Thus the tsung-tuh, who is the viceroy or 
governor-general of the two provinces of Kwangtung 
and Kwangse, has his fixed residence in the New City. 
His nominal abode is, however, situated some miles to 
the west of the city ; and though, on account of the 
facilities of Canton, he is allowed to reside within the 
walls, he is not allowed to bring thither the troops 
placed at his command. The foo-yuen, the acting 
or lieutenant-governor of Kwangtung province, who, 
though generally subordinate, is, in many points, inde- 
pendent of the tsung-tuh, and hence sometimes be- 
comes a rival, is stationed in the Old City, where a small 
force of military is placed at his disposal ; and thus a 
balance of power is preserved. Again, to guard 
against the danger of combination on the part of these 
governors, or of the military force, entrusted to the 



foo-yuen for the purposes of police, being employed 
in the attainment of political aggrandizement, the of- 
ficer usually styled the Tartar-general, the tseangkeun, 
is located, with a strong force of Tartar troops, in the 
Old City, thus providing a check on ambitious civil 
governors, as well as a defence of the city against foreign 
invasion. The same principle of mutual checks is re- 
markably developed in all the other offices of state and 
finance, adapted to the preservation of the reins of 
power in the hands of the present foreign dynasty. It is 
probably to the consciousness of insecurity, and fear "of 
the native Chinese, that much of the jealous restrictive 
policy, which has peculiarly characterized the Man- 
chow Tartar race, is to be traced. They hear that 
the western barbarians are powerful. Especially 
they are told that the English foreigners have, from a 
small beginning, in the lapse of a single century, de- 
molished dynasties, overthrown kingdoms, and gra- 
dually brought the whole of India under their yoke. 
Hence this fear, joined to their distrust of the native 
Chinese, leads them to persist in an exclusive policy, 
which for so long a period has banished foreigners to 
a distance from the capital, and to load them, in their 
edicts, with a full measure of invective. Even at 
Canton, with all the boasted advantages of the British 
treaty, Europeans cannot venture in safety within the 
city-walls. Frequently did we in vain seek to obtain 
the assistance of our native teacher in exploring the 
city. Once we caught a glimpse of the Chuhlan-mun, 
the nearest gate to the foreign factories. We met 
with no. Europeans who, within the last two years, had 
ventured to enter, with the exception of a naval 
lieutenant, who was quickly compelled to seek safety 


by flight, amid a shower of missiles, and with some 
bodily bruises. Popular violence, so long encouraged 
against foreigners, either could not now be restrained 
by the native authorities, or was the engine of terror, 
disingenuously employed by them, to prevent the in- 
gress of Europeans, and the humiliation of the rulers. 
The Mandarins made one unvarying statement to the 
British and American Consuls, that foreigners were 
welcome to enter the city, but they could not restrain 
the populace, or promise an immunity from assault. 
It is to be hoped that increasing experience of the 
urbanity, fair dealings, justice, and, above all, of the 
improved morality of the foreign community, will gra- 
dually undermine, and finally eradicate, this hostile 

The recently-arrived stranger naturally manifests 
surprise and incredulity on being told that the esti- 
mated population of Canton exceeds a million. As 
soon, however, as he visits the close streets, with their 
dense population and busy wayfarers, huddled toge- 
ther into lanes from five to nine feet wide, where 
Europeans could scarcely inhale the breath of life, 
the greatness of the number no longer appears in- 
credible. After the first feelings of novelty have 
passed away, disappointment, rather than admiration, 
occupies the mind. After leaving the open space 
before the factories, or, as the Chinese call them, 
the thirteen hongs, and passing through Old 
China Street, New China Street, Curiosity Street, 
and similar localities, the names of which indicate 
their propinquity to the residence of foreigners, we 
behold an endless succession of narrow avenues, 
scarcely deserving the name of streets. As the 



visitor pursues his course, narrow lanes still con- 
tinue to succeed each other, and the conviction is 
gradually impressed on the mind, that such is the 
general character of the streets of the city. Along 
these, busy traders, mechanics, barbers, venders, and 
porters, make their way ; while occasionally the noisy 
abrupt tones of vociferating coolies remind the tra- 
veller that some materials of bulky dimensions are on 
their transit, and suggest the expediency of keeping 
at a distance, to avoid collision. Now and then the 
monotony of the scene is relieved by some portly Man- 
darin, or merchant of the higher class, borne in a 
sedan-chair on the shoulders of two, or sometimes 
four men. Yet, with all this hurry and din, there 
seldom occurs any accident or interruption of good 
nature. On the river the same order and regularity 
prevail. Though there are probably not fewer than 
200,000 denizens of the river, whose hereditary do- 
mains are the watery element that supports their 
little dwelling, yet harmony and good feeling are 
conspicuous in the accommodating manner with which 
they make way for each other. These aquatic tribes 
of the human species show a most philosophic spirit 
of equanimity, and contrive, in this way, to strip daily 
life of many of its little troubles ; while the fortitude 
and patience, with which the occasional injury or de- 
struction of their boat is borne, is remarkable. 

To return from the wide expanse of the river- 
population to the streets in the suburbs, the same 
spirit of contented adaptation to external things is 
everywhere observable, and it is difficult which to 
regard with most surprise the narrow abodes of the 
one, or the little boats which serve as family resi- 


dences to the other. There is something of romance 
in the effect of Chinese streets. On either side are 
shops, decked out with native ware, furniture, and 
manufactures of various kinds. These are adorned 
by pillars of sign-boards, rising perpendicularly, and 
inscribed from top to bottom with the various kinds of 
saleable articles which may be had within. Native 
artists seem to have lavished their ingenuity on several 
of these inscriptions, and, by their caligraphy, to give 
some idea of the superiority of the commodities for 
sale. Many of these sign-boards contain some fictitious 
emblem, adopted as the name of the shop, similar to 
the practice prevalent in London two centuries ago. 
On entering, the proprietor, with his assistants or 
partners, welcomes a foreigner with sundry salutations ; 
sometimes advancing to shake hands, and endeavour- 
ing to make the most of his scanty knowledge of 
English. They will show their saleable articles with 
the utmost patience, and evince nothing of disappoint- 
ment if, after gratifying his curiosity, he departs 
without purchasing. At a distance from the factories, 
where the sight of a foreigner is a rarity, crowds of 
idlers, from fifty to a hundred, rapidly gather round 
the shop, and frequent embarrassment ensues from 
an incipient or imperfect knowledge of the collo- 
quial medium. In these parts the shopkeepers know 
nothing but their own language, are more moderate in 
their politeness, and, as a compensation, put a less 
price on their wares. To write one's name in 
Chinese characters is a sure method of enhancing 
their good favour. Sometimes no fewer than eight or 
ten blind beggars find their way into a shop, and 
there they remain, singing a melancholy dirge-like 


strain, and most perseveringly beating together two 
pieces of wood, till the weary shopman at length takes 
compassion on them, and provides for the quiet of his 
shop by giving a copper cash to each ; on receiving 
which they depart, and repeat the same experiment 
elsewhere. The streets abound with these blind 
beggars, who are seldom treated with indignity. A 
kindly indulgence is extended to them, and they 
enjoy a prescriptive right of levying a copper cash 
from every shop or house they enter. It is said that 
this furnishes a liberal means of livelihood to an 
immense number of blind persons, who, in many 
instances, are banded together in companies or so- 
cieties, subject to a code of rules, on breach of which 
the transgressor is expelled the community, and loses 
his guild. 

In every little open space there are crowds of 
travelling doctors, haranguing the multitude on the 
wonderful powers and healing virtues of the medicines 
which they expose for sale. Close by, some cunning for- 
tune-teller may be seen, with crafty look, explaining 
to some awe-stricken simpleton his future destiny in 
life, from a number of books arranged before him, and 
consulted with due solemnity. In another part, some 
tamed birds are exhibiting their clever feats, in 
singling out, from amongst a hundred others, a piece 
of paper enclosing a coin, and then receiving a grain 
of millet as a reward of their cleverness. At a little 
distance are some fruit-stalls, at which old and young 
are making purchases, throwing lots for tlie quantity 
they are to receive. Near these again are noisy 
gangs of people, pursuing a less equivocal course of 
gambling, and evincing, by their excited looks and 


clamours, the intensity of their interest in the issue. 
In another part may be seen disposed the apparatus 
of some Chinese tonsor, who is performing his skilful 
vocation on the crown of some fellow-countryman, 
unable to command the attendance of the artist at a 
house of his own. 

We leave the motley assemblages which meet the 
eye on all sides, to take a view of incidents more agree- 
able and cheering in a moral and religious point of 
view. Emerging from the factories into Hog Lane 
a district abounding with refuse of all kinds, moral 
and material, and of which the inauspicious name is 
but a faint emblem we proceed about half its length, 
till, on our left, we observe a door, not remarkably 
different from the rest, but having a few sedan-chairs 
standing by, to indicate that some more opulent visi- 
tors are within. This is the Ophthalmic Hospital, 
in connexion with the Medical Missionary Society, 
organized, in 1838, at Canton, and having similar in- 
stitutions at Hong Kong, Amoy, Ningpo, and Shang- 
hai. The object of this Society was, to supply, gra- 
tuitously, medical assistants and drugs to those medical 
Missionaries who have been sent, by the Protestant So- 
cieties in England or America, to attempt the evange- 
lization of the Chinese, in connexion with the bene- 
volent effort to impart to the diseased sufferer the 
medical skill of Christendom. There is, professedly, 
no interference with the Missionaries themselves ; 
but a periodical report is expected of the state and 
progress of the Missionary Hospital. Subsequent 
events have led to a partial disorganization of the 
Society itself. 

On entering the hospital, numbers of Chinese, 


generally of the humblest ranks, are seen in the 
lower room, with impatience and anxiety depicted on 
the countenance. Diseases of every kind, but prin- 
cipally those of the eye, are brought hither, in the 
hope of obtaining relief from the humane skill of the 
Christian physician. On ascending into the upper 
range of rooms, from sixty to a hundred patients may 
generally be seen, on the weekly receiving day, sitting 
and waiting their turn to consult the Missionary, 
with his native assistants, at a table at the upper 
end of the room. Rude paintings of the various cases 
of tumours of large dimensions, removed by the hand 
of the operator, are hung round the room, to com- 
memorate the benefits of the institution, and to en- 
courage the confidence of the Chinese in the skill of 
the foreigner. Many emaciated sufferers, and many 
anxious mothers, pressing to their bosoms little pitiable 
infants, are here to be seen, watching most intently 
the words of the physician on their case, and eagerly 
extracting a ray of comfort from his looks. It is 
in such a school as this, that contentment and grati- 
tude to the Almighty are most forcibly taught and 
impressed on those who are exempt from the slowly- 
consuming pangs of sickness and disease. It is in 
such scenes that the heart of the Christian grows soft, 
and brings forth the genial emotions of sympathy and 
kindness towards our fellow-heirs of corruption and 
death. It is here, also, that the proud arrogance of 
native prejudice is subdued, under the power and 
beauty of the disinterested benevolence which springs 
from a heaven-born faith. To use the words of a 
Native Christian, Leang Afa, " When I speak to my 
countrymen in the villages and suburbs about Jesus 


Christ, and His glorious Gospel, they are careless, 
and utter expressions of scorn ; but in the hospital 
their hearts are soft, and they will listen to the Gospel 
with serious attention." The advantages to the Mis- 
sionary work of such an institution are obvious to all. 
Our respected friend, who presides over it, has had 
the privilege of exhibiting to nearly 20,000 patients 
the benevolence of the Christian Religion. Among 
these have been one or two officers high in the state ; 
and it is to be hoped that the noble-minded Ke-Ying 
will never forget that he has received, at the hands 
of a Christian, the remedies which removed his bodily 

On the first day of our visit we saw among the 
rest a literary student, a sew-tsai, or graduate of the 
lowest degree. Though his external appearance and 
dress plainly told the humble condition of life to 
which he belonged, yet he was now on a visit to 
Canton for a recent literary examination for the next 
step on the road to preferment, the keu-jin degree, 
for which he had been an unsuccessful candidate. 
It is a common practice for a poor family to single 
out some hopeful scion of the house, of promising 
talents and ability, who is supported by the contribu- 
tions of his relatives ; and thus, relieved from the ne- 
cessity of bodily labour for subsistence, h'e is enabled 
to devote the undivided powers of his mind to that 
summit of ambition, literary distinction, and the con- 
sequent enriching of his family on his promotion. He 
had lost the sight of one eye, and there was incipient 
amaurosis in the other, the effect of protracted study. 
He was about to return to his relatives, and presented 
the physician with a fan which he had written over 


with Chinese characters, intended as a complimentary 
poem, and composed by himself for the occasion. 

As at this time our teachers could not speak any 
English, we were compelled to learn the Chinese col- 
loquial language ; and though at first it was very em- 
barrassing, yet, by means of a Vocabulary and Morri- 
son's Dictionary, with the previous advantage of diligent 
study on the voyage from England, we soon gathered 
all the common phrases necessary in our intercourse 
with them. The hospital also afforded some desirable 
facilities, as patients from all the provinces occa- 
sionally avail themselves of its benefits ; and among 
them we frequently met tea merchants and others, 
from the north of China, able to converse in the 
Court dialect, and very ready to help to improve our 
scanty knowledge of it. At various times we wit- 
nessed surgical operations, under which the Chinese 
evinced great fortitude. On one occasion we saw 
about ten cases of couching for cataract, two of which 
were performed with great ease and skill by the 
senior native assistant, named Ato. We were present 
also at the removal of several tumours from men and 
women. One poor Chinese submitted with great 
patience to a most painful and hazardous operation, 
by which a large tumour, weighing eight and a-half 
pounds, was removed from the side of his neck, 
extending upwards to the ear. So impassible is the 
Chinese temperament, that immediately after being 
laid on his bed he called for some rice-gruel ; and 
in three weeks after paid us a visit to our room. 
One neat young lady, most cruelly bandaged and 
tortured in her feet, with tottering pace advanced 
towards the physician, and submitted with great 


patience to a tedious operation, by which a large 
excrescence was removed from either ear, which pre- 
sented an unsightly appearance. The father stood 
by, and informed us that it was preparatory to her 
marriage. Nothing could exceed the refined delicacy 
of feeling and demeanour, with which she appeared 
before so many strangers. Her dress was very 
beautiful, and contained a quantity of gold lace 
adorning the borders. It was at times an affecting 
spectacle to behold blind persons of all ages, one by 
one, approach the physician, and receive from his 
lips the discouraging announcement that vision was 
for ever gone, and its recovery altogether hopeless. 
Still more affecting was the consideration that these 
poor inheritors of the woes of humanity had no 
knowledge of that Divine Saviour, who has repaired 
the ruins of the fall of Adam, and restored the long- 
forfeited blessings of God's favour to the sons and 
daughters of affliction. Great was their gratitude to 
the human instrument, through whose efforts their 
sufferings were relieved. More than once have we 
seen the Christian physician in vain attempting to 
restrain the prostration of the head to the ground, as 
a token of their gratitude, and to direct their misplaced 
adoration to the true Author of good, exhorting them 
to thank God. Yet such is the jealousy, real or 
supposed, with which this institution is viewed by the 
native authorities, that the utmost caution is observed 
in communicating religious instruction ; and, with the 
exception of the occasional distribution of a Christian 
tract, or a portion of the New Testament, no aggres- 
sive effort was at this time made for the conversion of 
the patients. 


In the districts bordering on the north of the city, 
as well as in the city itself, there are a few Chinese 
Roman Catholics. Some of them had been temporary 
inmates of the institution. There are also a few Ma- 
homedans in Canton. Near the hospital we were 
pointed out a respectable-looking Chinese, a Ma- 
homedan of great enterprise and zeal, who had jour- 
neyed through Thibet to India, and thence had pro- 
ceeded on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The Parsees, also, 
are rather numerous, and form an important portion 
of the inhabitants of the foreign factories, being gene- 
rally natives of Bombay. They may be seen walking 
in companies of from four to ten, every evening, in 
long, flowing, white dresses, occasionally relieved by the 
gay colour of pink or scarlet trowsers. They are an 
enterprising body of merchants, and, by their success 
in commerce, have gained in the East the same repute 
which the Jews so long obtained in theWest. They ge- 
nerally speak English, as well as their primitive Guze- 
ratee tongue. Their system of religious belief, when 
stript of some of its flagrant absurdities, appears 
to resolve itself into a Deism, almost verging to 
Atheism. They deny that they pay any idolatrous acts 
of worship to the sun, or to the element of fire. They 
profess to believe in the existence of one great, 
Supreme Being ; but as all their notions of him are 
necessarily vague, confused, and imperfect, they 
say that they need some visible object of adoration, 
and that they therefore transfer their worship to 
fire, as the most glorious of his creatures, and 
the most apt to be his representative. Amid all 
their Atheistic notions, they have much of self- 
righteousness. When they have a vessel on the point 


of going to sea, they give away money to the poor, 
and frequently annoy their neighbours by the crowds 
of Chinese vagrants attracted to the house by throwing 
money to be scrambled for among them. Yet they 
are noted for their sensual lives ; and their personal 
appearance and the clamorous nature of their festivi- 
ties serve to confirm this reputation. 

On one occasion we formed the acquaintance of a 
Parsee at the hospital, with whom we had some con- 
versations on religious subjects. He told us that he 
had frequently discussed such topics with a Missionary 
at Bombay, whose name he mentioned with respect. 
He would sometimes speak in terms of proud enthu- 
siasm of the ancient glory of his race, the sublime 
sanctity of the Zendavesta, and the power of Zoroaster 
in reclaiming his race from a savage state to civiliza- 
tion. He would also speak of their expulsion from 
Persia by Mahomedan persecution, their migration to 
Guzerat, and the consequent change of their language 
and dress. Pointing to the various subjects of disease 
in the room, and singling out especially an emaciated 
form of infant suffering, we once asked him how, 
on any other hypothesis than that of the entrance of 
sin into the world and the fall of man, he could regard 
misery at so early an age as compatible with the 
infinite benevolence of the Creator. He seemed to 
feel the force of the argument ; but endeavoured to 
evade it by suddenly asking us how* it was there were 
so many sects of Christians, and they were not all 
one. In reply, we attempted to demonstrate to him 
the unity of faith, of love, of practice, which distin- 
guishes all spiritual followers of Jesus Christ, which 
can subsist independently of any diversity in the 


ceremonials of religion, or in the mere externals of 
Christianity. As an instance of the real unity of Chris- 
tians, we drew his attention to the fact, that our re- 
spected host, Dr. Parker, had welcomed us with all 
the kindness and affection of Christian hospitality, 
though we were previously strangers to each other, 
and belonged to different Christian communions. We 
related to him the origin and progress of the British 
and Foreign Bible Society, as a specimen of the 
manner in which Christians were willing to sink their 
minor differences in the grand, comprehensive effort 
to diffuse the Word of God as the "common rule of 
faith and practice, and the sole depository of God's 
revealed will to mankind. We afterwards sent him 
a letter, accompanying the gift of a Bible, which we 
presented to him in the name of that Society, not only 
as a token of our individual interest in his eternal 
welfare, but also as a memorial of the unity of British 






ON October 7th we paid our first visit, with a party 
of friends, to the celebrated Honan Monastery, of 
which one of our teachers, the priest to whom allusion 
has already been made, had formerly been Abbot. We 
crossed the river a little to the east of the factories, 
and landed close to the Budhist Temple. On enter- 
ing, we passed at once into a long court-yard, at the 
further end of which is placed the emblematical tor- 
toise, carved on a large stone. Passing through 
another gateway, we beheld two colossal figures, said 
to be images of deified heroes, guarding the entrance 
to the temple. Advancing through another court, we 
entered a kind of vestibule, where four gigantic idols, 
two on either side, of fierce and fantastic aspect, 
remind the stranger that he has entered " the palace 
of the four celestial kings." Three of them strongly 


resembled ^Esculapius, Apollo, and Mars, of Greek 
and Roman mythology. A broad path conducted us 
thence to the principal temple, where, in a large hall, 
we beheld the priests celebrating their evening wor- 
ship before the three Budhas. These images, together 
with numerous other idols and altars, gave an im- 
posing effect to the scene. A large number of monks 
were standing with joined and uplifted palms, engaged 
in repeating the mystical and unintelligible sounds 
addressed to Budh ; while one of the number acted as 
a leader or precentor in this mummery, and, with out- 
stretched neck and breathless haste, poured forth a 
torrent of loud sonorous jargon, which was accom- 
panied from time to time by the beating of a drum 
and tinkling of a bell, another priest burning some 
gilt paper and incense. The whole produced a con- 
fused din and uproar, which might have consisted 
with a pandsemonium. From this we were hurried 
to the apartments of our friend the Abbot, as we con- 
tinue to designate him by courtesy. He received us 
with much politeness, and tea was immediately served 
for us ; before drinking which he pledged each guest 
separately with his cup brought into contact with 
theirs. He afterwards sent a priest to conduct us 
through the different parts of the establishment, 
which covers a space of seven or eight acres, and has 
some crops of rice, and a little grove of ornamental 
trees. A number of apartments on either side of the 
principal square form the cells of the priests, and 
various kinds of offices. We were conducted to the 
stall or pen, in which the sacred pigs are domiciled. 
According to the popular theory, these pigs are main- 
tained in a state of plenty, and are invested with a 


degree of sanctity, as a compensation to the species 
for the wrongs inflicted on them by the disciples of 
Budhism, in eating swine's fleshf contrary to the pri- 
mitive laws of Budh. Hence, to these favoured pigs 
every possible honour is paid, as reparation for the 
evils which wicked custom has perpetuated. To us 
they appear to possess only one attribute of sanctity 
in the estimate of the Chinese, that of excessive size 
and fatness, which rendered them, for a long time, 
regardless of the blows by which we endeavoured to 
provoke them into a standing posture. Thence we 
were conducted to the place, where, in a kind of oven, 
the bodies of the deceased priests are consumed by 
fire. Near to this was the mausoleum, in which the 
ashes of their burnt bodies are deposited on a certain 
day in each year. Adjoining to it was a little cell, in 
which the urns containing the ashes are temporarily 
placed till the periodical season for opening the 

The temple is a very old establishment, but did not 
attain its celebrity till about a century and a half ago, 
when, by the favour of one of the Manchow Tartar 
princes, it was richly endowed. The following tradi- 
tion of the circumstances is preserved. In the reign of 
Kang-he certain districts in the province of Canton 
remained faithful in their allegiance to the old native 
dynasty, and were in a state of rebellion. A son-in- 
law of the emperor was sent with a strong force, and 
subdued the country. The villages of Honan, which 
form the southern suburbs of the city of Canton, suf- 
fered under the sanguinary vengeance of the conqueror. 
Orders were issued for a general massacre of the 
people. Just before the command was executed, the 


prince saw a fat priest belonging to this temple ; and 
inveighing against the supposed hypocrisy of a priest, 
professing abstinence from flesh and wine, arriving at 
such a size, he ordered him to be put to death. The 
tradition goes on to relate a dream which happened 
to the prince, which induced him to reverse the sen- 
tence, and to load the holy priest with gifts, and the 
temple to which he belonged with an ample share of 
princely favour and wealth. Estates and money were 
given to increase the endowment, which was intended 
to support three hundred priests. From the difficulty 
of sustaining the number, there are now only about one 
hundred and sixty. Many of these are fugitives, out- 
laws, and bandits, who have been driven by want or 
fear to seek a shelter and asylum within its walls. 
They are generally a low set of men, and only a few 
of them are versed in the native literature. The 
Abbot is elected by vote for a term of three years. 

On several subsequent occasions we visited this 
Budhist temple, and were always courteously received 
by the Abbot, who once invited a young priest of very 
pleasing manners, from another temple, to meet us. 
Generally, on entering we were surrounded by the 
lower class of priests, who, by significant gestures, in- 
timated their desire that we would give them tobacco. 
We made known to them that we had no such gift 
for them, but offered them some copies of the Epistle 
to the Ephesians, and a tract entitled " The Way of 
Eternal Blessedness," which were eagerly sought and 
received. On returning afterwards, we saw several 
priests sitting in retired spots reading them, and in 
our subsequent visits we had numerous applicants. 
The Abbot himself once asked permission to take from 


our room a copy of Dr. Milne's sermons ; and, on my 
next visit to his apartments, gave me a neat little book, 
in boards of fragrant wood, containing the prayers 
offered in the temple-worship to Budh. These proved 
to be a mere collection of unmeaning sounds, written 
in Chinese characters, but taken from the old Palee 
tongue, the primitive Indian language of Budhism. 

There are more than a hundred temples in Canton 
consecrated to the various systems of religious false- 
hood, which maintain an ascendency over the popular 
mind. Of these, a few belong to the Taou sect, whose 
priests may sometimes be seen walking in the streets, 
and are easily distinguished by the peculiar mode in 
which their head is shaven, a portion of the hair being 
left so as to be formed into a tuft on the crown. A 
larger number are denominated "temples of ances- 
tors." By far the most considerable portion, however, 
are devoted to Budhist worship. There exist also nu- 
merous public altars to the deities, who are supposed 
to preside over the locality, or to exercise a dominion 
over the different elements, together with count- 
less altars raised to the household gods. Religious 
processions and festivals also form a portion of 
the long catalogue of superstitious practices, which 
tend to prove that here, as in every other part of the 
world, man cannot subsist without the semblance of 
religious worship ; and that if he possess not the true 
religion, he invariably seeks its substitute in the coun- 
terfeit inventions of falsehood. 

The whole number of priests is estimated at 2000, 
who live a monastic life, and are bound to a life of 
celibacy, as long as they remain inmates of the temple. 
Though it is considered discreditable for the priests 

D 2 


to abandon the sacred office, and to revert to a secu- 
lar calling, yet in most cases they adhere to the 
monastic life only because they have no other means 
of livelihood. They lead an idle sauntering life, and 
may be seen standing about the entrance of the temple 
precincts, distinguished more by their bare shaven 
crowns, than by their manners or demeanour, from 
the surrounding crowds of idlers. About 1000 nuns 
are also supported in the various institutions: they 
adopt the same dress as the monks, having their head 
completely shaven, and wearing a long black flowing 
robe. Though Confucianism is the only religious 
system professed by the state, the sage, and the scholar, 
yet every system of superstition exerts its divided 
influence over the ignorant masses ; and, by an un- 
happy inconsistency, idolatry, though decried by the 
learned, is yet followed and practised by all. 

October IQth We had an opportunity of witnessing 
an instance of the spirit which still prevails in Can- 
ton in reference to foreign intercourse. A Mandarin 
called on our host, while we were at dinner, on 
business, and we were introduced to him. He ap- 
proached us with great politeness, and shook hands. 
He wore an opaque white button on the top of his 
official cap, and had a peacock's feather hanging down 
over his back. He held the office of deputy district 
magistrate, and appeared to be about fifty years of age. 
We were entertained during the greater part of the 
meal with the high shrill tones of the Peking dialect, 
as he conversed with much apparent earnestness with 
our host in the adjoining verandah. 

Soon after, as we were sitting in our room, en- 
gaged with our teachers, Choo and the Honan 


Priest, the latter was suddenly thrown into great 
consternation by the announced, and subsequent 
actual arrival of three Mandarins in the adjoining 
room. All our efforts to calm his mind proved 
ineffectual : he trembled like a leaf, and cast most 
imploring looks to us not to expose him. At his 
request, we removed our books and writing materials 
into the bed-room, which communicated with the 
verandah adjoining the room in which the officials 
were engaged in a discussion with our friend, who 
had been acting as interpreter in the recent American 
negotiations. The priest entreated us to speak in a 
whisper ; and the least sound seemed to penetrate his 
very soul. As for old Choo, he did not seem to parti- 
cipate in this feeling to any great extent, having been 
inured, by thirty years' intercourse with foreigners, to 
hazards of this kind. He made the priest angry with 
him by speaking in a soft, but audible tone ; and after- 
wards, prompted by curiosity, ventured in silence 
to steal a glance into the other room ; while the 
other Chinese, placed on a higher pinnacle of rank, 
and therefore more exposed to the shafts of official 
displeasure, was tortured by fear. At last the officers 
took their departure, and released the priest from a load 
of care. It is difficult, under the new system of inter- 
course provided for by the British treaty, to account 
for these fears of respectable Chinese, except on the 
supposition that the native Government is known to 
have made reluctant concessions to foreigners, and to 
regard with peculiar animosity those natives who 
associate with them. 

On Oct. 13th I preached to about forty Europeans 
and Americans, in Dr. Parker's dining-room, my fellow- 



labourer, Mr. M'Clatchie, conducting the prayers in 
accordance with the Liturgy of the Church of England. 
This Service we generally continued every Sabbath 
during our stay in Canton. In the afternoon, our host 
and hostess joined with Leang Afa and ourselves in 
partaking of the Lord's Supper, for the first time after 
our arrival in China. An unusual solemnity pervaded 
the occasion ; and we felt the privilege of Christian 
communion with each other at this distance from the 
Churches of our respective father-lands. We assem- 
bled, few in number fewer than the original 
Apostles, and, like them, in an upper room, with a 
world lying around us in unbelief. There we peni- 
tentially confessed our sinfulness, and implored 
strength for our work. There we anew com- 
memorated that Saviour's death, on whom we built 
our hopes of acceptance, and in obedience to whose 
command, Go and teach att nations, we had come 
hither. And even here we were not without encou- 
ragement, in the fact of our approaching the Lord's 
table, in company with one, who, himself the first- 
fruits of modern Missionary efforts in China, was 
now an Evangelist to his own countrymen. We 
sang some hymns appropriate to our situation ; and 
the Service was concluded by Leang Afa praying, in 
Chinese, for the spread of the Gospel, and the con- 
version of his country. The earnestness of his tone 
plainly told us the fervency of his supplications. 
We were afterwards informed that his intercessions 
on the occasion were indeed most ardent on be- 
half of the idolatrous empire of China. He is sup- 
ported by the London Missionary Society ; and has 
daily prayers and reading of the Scripture at his 


house, about a mile distant on the opposite side of the 
river, at which some of his countrymen attend from 
time to time, and converse with him about Christianity. 
He has a wife, a son, and a daughter, Christians ; and, 
about a year ago, his aged mother was baptized. 

Oct. 15th This evening we went, by invitation, to a 
neighbouring hong, to meet a Mandarin of the highest 
class but one, holding military rank, and enjoying the 
privileges of a naturalized or adopted Tartar ; i. e. a 
descendant of those native Chinese who had assisted 
the Manchow Tartars in gaining the throne, and had 
for these services been admitted to an equality of 
rank with the conquerors. He had distinguished 
himself in war ; and, as a reward of his services, was 
decked with the honorary badge of a peacock's fea- 
ther with three eyes, the largest legal number. We 
were soon on familiar terms ; and though, from the 
nature of the conversation, which was interpreted 
to us, we did not conceive his stock of ideas to be 
very large, we contrived to spend a tolerably inter- 
esting evening in his company. He was very obliging 
in his endeavours to encourage our incipient efforts 
in the Mandarin dialect, and, when we were tole- 
rably successful, patted us on the shoulder. He was 
very particular in showing each article of ornament 
and use which he had with him, among which was a 
crystal snuff-bottle, which I filled with some snuff 
that had been for some years lying in my writing- 
desk. He received the present, and seemed to value 
it, as, two or three days after, I received an express 
messenger from his residence in the city, thanking 
me, and inquiring whether any such could be pur- 
chased at Hong Kong or Macao. He had two atten- 


dants, who stood behind, but were at no pains to con- 
ceal their participation in any subject of amusement 
that occurred, frequently offering their remarks. 
When any person who happened to be rather tall in sta- 
ture entered the room in which we were, the first thing 
our visitor did, after shaking hands, was to propose 
their standing back to back, in order to compare their 
respective height, as he is taller than the generality 
of Chinese. Though he professes an eternal friend- 
ship for one or two of our friends among the foreign 
residents, and occasionally pays them an evening 
visit, he is always alarmed at any proposal to visit him 
at his own house, and meets it with an open indication 
of unwillingness, probably fearing the odium he should 
incur. His manners were very polite, and he has the 
reputation of being a liberal-minded man. 

Oct. 11th We learnt from our old teacher, Choo, 
that the seventy-two (the legal number) successful as- 
pirants to the degree of keu-jin dine together on this 
day with the public functionaries, to commemorate 
with rejoicing their promotion. His brother-in-law 
was one of the happy number ; and we had, a few days 
after, to dispense with Choo's services, to enable him 
to go home, on the plea of joining in the family festi- 
vities consequent on the distinction of one of its 
members. There were eight thousand candidates in all. 
Before they are qualified to compete at this triennial 
examination for literary honours, held only in the 
capital of the province, they must be sew-tsai, L e. gra- 
duates of the lowest degree, conferred in the capital 
city of each department. For several weeks the exa- 
mination furnishes a subject of all-absorbing interest 
to the people. Hopes and fears, joy and solicitude, 


fill the minds of the relatives of the various candi- 
dates, as they dwell in imagination on the prospective 
distinction of their families, and build a visionary fa- 
bric of expected honours, wealth, and power on the 
contingencies of the future. Each candidate enters the 
building appropriated to the purposes of examination, 
which is carefully guarded by soldiers, to prevent 
communication from without. Here he is located in 
a cell, which is also narrowly watched, to prevent any 
illicit help being conveyed to him. There, on three 
different days, he writes a theme, or composes a 
short poem, on some given subject from the ancient 
classics, and transmits it to the judge under an 
assumed name or motto, to ensure impartiality and 
fairness in the tiecision. All subjects which can bear 
the remotest allusion to the policy of the rulers, or 
to the present dynasty, are strictly excluded. The 
test of superiority consists in the style and sentiment 
according with that of the ancient authors and sages. 
Consequently, Chinese literati pursue for ages the 
same beaten track of Confucian philosophy ; and 
whereas originality forms a principal quality in the 
estimate of literary excellence in Western regions, 
in China, on the contrary, the inventive faculty is 
checked, and innovation is stifled in the birth. Thus 
the sages of the celestial empire waste their energies 
in persevering efforts to remain stationary in know- 
ledge. Not the faintest gleam of physical science 
ever sheds a radiance on the dark chambers of their 
antiquated system. For ages not a single step is 
gained in the advancement of true science and those 
experimental arts which serve to extend the empire 
of the human mind over matter. 


So great is the interest in the successful effort to 
gain the higher literary degrees, that instances are 
not rare of individuals persevering through succes- 
sive years of disappointment till their seventieth or 
eightieth year. Nor is the vigilance of the autho- 
rities always sufficient to prevent the smuggling of 
themes, already composed for the examination, or 
their furtive introduction during the period of trial. 
Three or four years ago, the son of a wealthy salt- 
inspector at Canton succeeded in obtaining a keu-jin 
degree, though he was known to the whole neigh- 
bourhood as a simpleton. His success, the effect of 
venal corruption, produced great dissatisfaction ; and 
the suspicions, which were reasonably excited, were 
the fruitful occasion of libels and lampoons from 
the pens of the disappointed literati. Promotion is 
the summum bonum of a Chinese. The highest 
honours and emoluments of office are open to indi- 
viduals of the humblest rank. Tartar birth, though 
conferring on its possessor a considerable vantage- 
ground, does not necessarily conduct to pre-eminence, 
nor do family distinctions descend from father to son, 
except in the case of the imperial kindred. This 
system of promotion, while it secures for the empe- 
ror's service a body of well-educated public officers, 
at the same time perpetuates error, and presents one of 
the most formidable moral barriers to the progress 
of Christian truth. Frequently, also, the evils are appa- 
rent of. a system, which promotes to the highest offices 
of state the successful candidates for literary honours ; 
men raised, indeed, above their competitors by their 
erudition in Confucian lore, but often marvellously 
defective in the active qualities of government, and 


unable to rise to the pressing exigencies of the age. 
The first intimation of the individual's success, after 
the literary ordeal, is learned by him from reading 
his feigned name or motto posted against the walls of 
the public office of the foo-yuen, or lieutenant-gover- 
nor. At a certain hour, this public functionary comes 
forth from his palace ; and after the customary dis- 
charge of guns, the official paper is pasted up. He 
then bows to the names of the successful candidates, 
and retires. A public banquet, honoured by the pre- 
sence of the foo-yuen and the highest authorities of the 
province, is given to the newly-made keu-jin ; and, 
while the thousands of disappointed scholars return to 
their homes, the successful few are loaded with 
applause and honour, and their names are sent 
up, with their compositions, to the emperor at 

Oct. 19th We had, this evening, the company, at 
tea, of a well-known individual, Tang Shin, a Hong 
merchant. The exclusive monopoly and privileges of 
the old Hong merchants have, by the late treaties, 
become obsolete. Yet their reputation and expe- 
rience give them great advantage in commerce, and 
Tang Shin is a rich, as well as a learned man. He is 
the author of more than one work on moral subjects, 
a copy of which he promised to give us. He 
remained for several hours ; and the conversation, 
which was sometimes in the Court dialect, and at 
other times in imperfect English, was interpreted 
by our host. On his being asked the origin of the 
Chinese custom of crippling ladies' feet, his opinion 
was confirmatory of the current statement, that Ta-ke, 
a wicked empress in the third century before the 


Christian era, during the Tsin dynasty, influenced 
her husband to issue an edict, obliging all the Chinese 
ladies to make the empress's club-feet the standard of 
beauty. Some small-footed women once replied in 
our hearing to the same question, to the effect that 
ladies, who had no menial work to perform, did not 
require the use of their feet ! Tang Shin possesses 
enlightened views and information on subjects of 
foreign policy. He expressed the great desirable- 
ness of an imperial commissioner being sent to 
other nations, as peace would then be better 
maintained, and " the inner people would not re- 
main in ignorance of the affairs of outward nations." 
Speaking of the opium traffic, he said that it was 
worse than the African slave-trade : that slaves might 
be fed, and clad, and thrive in the enjoyment of 
health ; that, moreover, they might, and, he empha- 
tically added, they should, be restored to their father- 
land. "But," he continued, "the victims of opium 
grow sick in body, diseased in mind, depraved in 
heart, and become physically, mentally, and morally 
ruined." Our hostess pressed him to permit his wife 
to visit her. He laughed, but cautiously avoided 
committing himself by any such promise. He after- 
wards said that the Chinese law did not allow women 
to visit abroad. One of the party replied that he 
had never been able to discover such a law in the 
Chinese code. Tang Shin then said that he hoped 
at some time their custom might be rendered like that 
of foreigners, but at present it could not be so. On the 
subject of bigamy he appeared to be very sensitive, and 
anxious to repel the insinuation of the family-discords 
which it produced. He said that his first wife (who 


was now dead) was above his four other more recently- 
married wives in rank, and that the latter were not per- 
mitted to eat in the presence of the former, but were 
rather considered as her servants. " And," continued 
he, " they are all happy and quiet, and live together 
like sisters." He has fifteen children, and as they do 
not like the idea of calling a stranger mother, he 
is unwilling again to marry a wife who would suc- 
ceed to the rank of mistress of the household, his con- 
cubines not receiving any elevation by the death of 
his wife. 

In reference to the recent literary examinations, he 
said that every officer in the empire, civil and mili- 
tary, must professedly be a sew-tsai, or graduate of the 
lowest degree, at least ; but that such was the corrup- 
tion of the times, that now, instead of talent finding 
its proper level, and a sure reward in promotion, 
various means could with impunity be resorted to by 
ambitious persons, for bribing the examiners, or ac- 
quiring the necessary degree by money or influence. 
Thousands even of keu-jin throughout the empire were 
waiting for promotion ; the favour of the governor of 
the province frequently elevating juniors, to the ex- 
clusion of older and more deserving men. No person 
of lower degree than Jceu-jin could be appointed to the 
office of district magistrate. But perseverance in the 
prosecution of literary honours was greatly checked 
by the abuses, which had been growing up and acquir- 
ing strength during the last few years. In the course 
of his conversation, the fact became continually more 
apparent, that, for some time past, the literati and 
government officers have been divided into two grand 
national factions ; the one, rigidly attached to an 


exclusive conservatism of national isolation and 
customs; the other, inclined to more liberal views, 
and more especially advocating the legalized im- 
portation of opium at a high duty. The former 
party number the famous commissioner Lin among 
their chief partizans. Among the more prominent 
leaders of the liberal party are Ke-Shen, who was de- 
graded for the negotiations with Captain Elliott ; 
and Ke-Ying, the present imperial commissioner, 
who has borne so conspicuous a part in the recent 
negotiations with the British, the Americans, and the 

Whatever may be the ignorance, real or affected, of 
the Chinese generally, respecting the superiority of 
foreigners in arts, in civilization, and in power, Tang 
Shin evidently laboured under no misapprehension on 
the subject. He examined, with much apparent in- 
terest, and many expressions of admiration, some appa- 
ratus exhibited to him, showing the European method 
of burning gas-light. He seemed to experience most 
difficulty in comprehending the nature of a gaseous 

Before taking his departure, he received a copy 
of the Epistle to the Ephesians, from the improved 
version, and also a Christian tract of about a dozen 
pages. He surveyed them both attentively for a 
few minutes, when he remarked that the former 
was difficult to his comprehension, and that the latter 
was more adapted in style and subject to the Chi- 
nese mind. 

Tang Shin is doubtless a great distance in advance 
of his countrymen. On a recent occasion he was 
made an honorary member of some literary society in 


America. In the letter of thanks to the officers of 
the institution for the honour conferred on him, he 
incidentally alluded to the evils of opium, calling on 
good men of all nations to combine in putting down 
the inhuman traffic. In the same letter he exhorted 
the Americans to abolish slavery in their dominions. 






ON October 20th I walked with two friends about a 
mile and a half in a north-westernly direction from 
the factories, into a part of the suburbs called the 
Beggars' Square. It consists of an open space, of 
about a hundred yards on each side, and has a conti- 
nued range of temples on one side, extending into the 
adjacent streets. In these streets there is a greater 
number of dwellings indicating internal comfort and 
respectability than in most other parts. There is 
also a more than ordinary proportion of apothecaries' 
shops, the outer walls of which are covered with an 
immense number of old rags, which might at first 
be mistaken for a quantity of dead, decayed ivy- 
leaves; but which, on inquiry, were found to be the 
various plasters which had been successfully em- 
ployed on the apothecary's patients, and were nailed 
up as a visible trophy of his transcendent skill in the 
healing art. On entering the temples, some of them 
presented unequivocal marks of dilapidation and ruin. 


A crowd of people followed us into the court as far 
as the entrance of the inner part of the temple, where 
the sacred images and the priest on duty were sta- 
tioned. The priest showed us the various articles 
within, and explained the mode of consulting Budh, by 
drawing lots, on the subject of making a bargain, or 
marrying a wife. On emerging from these gloomy re- 
cesses of fraud and superstition, we proceeded into the 
centre of the square, where numbers of idle vagabonds 
were pursuing their various methods of amusement or 
vice. A number of emaciated pale forms were also to 
be seen, partly covered with mats. Some were gasping 
for breath, and were scarcely able to move. Others 
were motionless, and seemed to be destitute of life. 
Numbers of poor mendicants, on the approach of 
sickness and disease, are brought hither by their re- 
latives, and left to perish in neglected and unpitied 
destitution. One poor youth, with a look that pierced 
my inmost soul, had just sufficient strength to stretch 
forth his hand for that temporal relief which was, 
alas ! now unavailing. I counted four or five, close 
by, to all appearance dead. Desirous of assuring my- 
self of the fact, I stooped, and, removing the scanty 
matting which partially obscured their pallid features, 
gazed on the ghastly spectacle of death. Within 
three or four yards of the corpses, a company of noisy 
gamblers were boisterously pursuing their nefarious 
vocation. Such is the baneful spell of paganism ! 
such the unhallowed influence of every false religion ! 
Even within sight of Budhist altars ; close by nume- 
rous temples dedicated to heathen gods; under the 
vertical beams of all the benevolence that paganism 
can be supposed to diffuse ; we behold the spectacle 


of death and the dying, sinking into the grave be- 
cause none will help them, and most of them perish- 
ing from actual starvation and neglect. The most 
corrupt form of Christianity knows no anomaly of this 
kind. The most feeble measure of Christian influence 
forbids hunger, disease, and penury to linger within 
sight, without making an effort to impart relief. But 
heathen priests permit the groan of the dying sufferer 
to ascend to the sky, as a testimony to that declaration 
of Holy Writ, The dark places of the earth are full of 
the habitations of cruelty. 

The dead bodies are, from time to time, removed 
from the square by the authorities, and are buried at 
the expense of Government. 

Oct. 22d In the afternoon we formed a party for 
making a pedestrian excursion into the rural dis- 
tricts, on the Honan side of the river. We passed 
through numerous streets and crossed a few bridges, 
at last fairly emerging into the open fields, over 
which we pursued our way to the distance of two miles 
and a half. We passed within sight of Leang A fa's 
abode, but judged it expedient not to mention his 
name, nor, by any other means, to excite any suspicion 
of his connexion with foreigners, to the hazard of his 
person, as the edict against his life has never been 
formally revoked. Our route lay through a burial- 
ground, covered with tomb-stones, at one end of 
which was a little altar with an idol. A poor woman 
was engaged in burning gilt-paper and fragrant sticks, 
and making prostrations before the image. The keeper 
of the altar begged us to move onwards, as the woman 
would be afraid to proceed with her offering, and his 
gains would be endangered. The woman interrupted 


him, and, with true good humour, told us she was not 
afraid of our remaining. Another woman soon joined 
in the offering, when both of them kept beating their 
heads to the ground before the idol, and uttering an 
indistinct kind of prayer. They then rose, and con- 
sulted the idol on the subject which they desired, by 
throwing into the air two semi-circular pieces of 
wood, formed of bamboo-roots, and inferring the 
idol's answer, favourable or otherwise, from the convex 
sides falling downwards, or the contrary ; after which 
they took their departure, not forgetting to pay the 
man fifteen cash as his fee. We proceeded through 
a well-cultivated district, abounding with rice-fields 
and little dykes or canals, till at last we reached a 
village larger than the rest, where an assemblage of 
people rapidly gathered round us. One of our party, 
who spoke Chinese, entered a shop, and addressed 
some questions to the inmates ; but both they and the 
by-standers evinced a shy, unfriendly spirit, and gave 
rude replies, advising us to go back to our houses. 

We returned by a different way, and met with no 
annoyance, as our party amounted to seven or eight, 
except from a number of young men and boys, who, 
seeing our approach through a lane towards a door 
which led into the fields, quickly ran round by 
another road, and, barring the door, effectually inter- 
rupted our progress for some minutes, more in joke 
than anger. After a short delay, one of them, pos- 
sessing more good nature than the rest, opened the 
door, and we passed through it, while a shout of de- 
rision was raised from the crowd rapidly increasing 
around us. During our walk back, we recognised 
a few patients, who had enjoyed the benefits of the 



Missionary hospital, and who now showed their gra- 
titude by using their influence in our favour, and 
winning respect for the strangers from their neigh- 

Oct. 29th Leang Afa called to introduce to us 
his son, A-tuh. The latter is a smart, intelligent, 
and well-educated young man. He has, for some 
time, been under the instruction and care of the Rev. 
Dr. Bridgman, of the American Board of Missions. 
Under his roof he received advantages which place 
him, intellectually, far above any other individual 
among his countrymen. In addition to the other 
general branches of European education, he has a 
tolerable measure of acquaintance with the Hebrew 
language. Having recently abandoned the Missio- 
naries at Hong Kong, and connected himself with the 
mercantile establishment of Powtinqua, the principal 
native merchant and gentleman at Canton, he is 
naturally regarded by the Missionaries with some 
suspicion ; and it is to be feared that he has 
been tempted by the superior gains and secular advan- 
tages which he receives as interpreter, to desert the 
quiet life and less alluring prospects of the Missio- 
nary body. He professes a temporary absence, and 
states his intention soon to return to Hong Kong. He 
is sometimes invited into the presence of Ke -Ying, and 
has been more than once consulted on the customs, his- 
tory, and power of Europeans. The high pay which he 
receives places him far above the rank of his father ; 
and though the influence for good of such an indi- 
vidual in the Government offices may be extensive, in 
improving the tone of international intercourse, yet it 
is difficult to banish regret from the mind, that, for 


direct Christian Missionary work, he is practically lost 
to us. The case of A-tuh appears to be a specimen of 
the difficulty and disappointment, to which our Mis- 
sions will, for some years, be necessarily exposed, 
unless the English language be excluded from Mis- 
sion Schools. 

He speaks English fluently, and interpreted -between 
us and his father. The French treaty, and the faci- 
lities which were reported to have been secured for 
the protection of the Roman-Catholic religion in the 
interior, formed, at this time, an exciting subject of 
discussion among those acquainted with external 
nations. A-tuh thought that the report was true, but 
that the stipulation would not be ratified by the 
emperor ; or that the Mandarins would defeat it, 
by preventing the sale of land for churches, and 
by similar stratagems. Both of them spoke unfa- 
vourably of Hong Kong, as the resort of the worst 
classes, driven thither by destitution or crime. 
A-tuh especially spoke of the insolent treatment 
to which the Chinese residents were exposed 
from the police and the Europeans generally ; and 
became much excited when he spoke of a recent 
indignity of treatment, which his father had suffered. 
He said the English had always been overbearing 
towards his countrymen, and until they showed a 
kinder spirit towards them, Christianity would never 
be respected. Especially, continued he, since the war 
the Chinese generally hated the English to a mucli 
greater degree than even before, as they had done so 
much greater mischief. On this account they were more 
disinclined than formerly to listen to Christian doc- 
trines ; thinking that if Englishmen were Christians, 


it could not be a good religion which permitted them 
to be so insolent and mischievous. 

Afa, though he corroborated the general tenor of 
these remarks, evinced a more meek and gentle spirit. 
In reply to the expression of my hope that he might 
have many souls for his hire, and my remark that they, 
the first-fruits of the Gospel in China, were, in a pecu- 
liar manner, chosen out from the masses of surrounding 
heathenism, Afa said, with evident feeling, " If foreign 
Christians have such love for souls as to come to 
preach the Gospel to the Chinese, who hate them, how 
much more ought I, a Chinaman, to exert myself for 
the conversion of my countrymen." On my asking 
him what were the principal obstacles to Missionary 
success, he replied, "The Chinaman's heart is very 
hard : they will listen to European Missionaries, and 
not bring objections till they have departed. But to 
me they will address remarks of this kind : ' Perhaps 
this English doctrine may be very good ; but we 
wish that you would first try it on the English them- 
selves, for they are wicked men. When this doctrine 
has made them better, then come and speak to us.' " 
At another time inquirers would come for two or three 
days to his house, and listen to his instructions. The 
last question, before ceasing their inquiries about the 
new doctrine, is frequently this, " How many dollars 
a month shall we obtain if we become Christians ?" 
Afa observed to me, " God can soften even such 
hearts, and no one else." Before his departure I inti- 
mated to him that he was known by name to many 
Christian persons in my own country, and that they 
watched his progress with affectionate interest. The 
old man could not refrain from shedding tears, and, 


pointing to heaven, he said that he prayed heartily 
that he might be what he ought to be ; but he felt 
that he was not strong. 

Though connected with foreign Missionaries, he is 
a staunch patriot. The following instance occurred 
before the outbreak of open hostilities between his 
country and the British: He came with patriotic 
earnestness to the late Mr. Morrison, and entreated 
him to use his influence in preventing war. His 
argument was characteristic. He feared that if 
the English came to fight with the Chinese, and to 
destroy their lives, his countrymen would never after- 
wards receive Bibles, or listen to preaching, from 
English Missionaries. The interests of Christianity, 
therefore, should induce him to prevent hostilities by 
all means in his power. In his preaching at Hong 
Kong he is very bold in his apologies for the English. 
Sometimes he speaks of his son A-tuh ; and requests 
the Chinese, if they doubt his opportunities of esti- 
mating the English character, to ask his son, who has 
been brought up among foreigners, and writes and 
speaks and reads their language. On such occasions 
the Chinese evince excitement, and are said generally 
to regard A-tuh with mingled feelings of admiration 
and suspicion, as a person " who knows too much of 
the foreigners." A growing impression is, however, 
by these means, imperceptibly produced of the supe- 
rior arts, knowledge, and civilization of Christian 
lands, and of the disinterested benevolence of those 
English friends among whom Afa mixes in familiar 

The following incidents will be a practical illustra- 
tion of the existing facilities for Missionary work at 


Canton facilities which are of no very extensive 
kind, but such as have, nevertheless, existed for some 
time ; and might, perhaps with advantage, have been 
made, even at an earlier period, the vehicle of a 
widely-spread system of oral instruction in Christian 
doctrines, among the crowded masses of the suburban 

Among the various visits which I made to the 
suburbs, at a distance from the factories, was an occa- 
sional walk to the homely residence of an American 
Missionary, the Rev. J. Roberts. He arrived in Canton 
during the last summer, having, during the seven 
years of his past residence in China, been engaged at 
Macao, and in the island of Hong Kong, among the 
lowest class of the population. Previous to his arrival 
at Canton, the only Missionary machinery in existence 
was the Ophthalmic Hospital, close to the foreign 
factories. Immediately on his arrival, he cherished 
the laudable project of settling amongst the Chinese 
themselves, and living in free intercourse with 
them. He accordingly rented a few rooms in the 
house of a native merchant, who the more readily 
afforded him a lodging, as he wished to enlarge his 
trade, and to court an acquaintance with foreigners. 
Here he adopted the habits and costume of Chinese 
life. However some may be inclined to doubt the 
expediency of such a course as the latter, yet no one 
can refrain from commending the courage and zeal 
by which it was dictated. Here, at the time of my 
visits, he usually had two native assistants in his 
lodging ; and, during the week, several Chinese, of the 
lower class of merchants and tradesmen, were in the 
habit of making a call, and cultivating friendly inter- 


course. On one occasion I hired a boat, and sailed about 
a mile down the river, east of the factories, to a point 
of the suburbs nearly opposite the old fort, called the 
Dutch Folly. Here, with some difficulty, I descried, 
amidst the crowds of boats between which we were 
pursuing our intricate course, the Chinese characters 
inscribed on the dwelling in which Mr. Roberts had 
secured a lodging for himself and his native com- 
panions. It was close to the Tsing Hai Mun, one of 
the southern gates of the city-wall. On landing, 
I proceeded to the hong, and was speedily ushered 
into my friend's apartments. My arrival seemed to 
interest the novel company into which I was intro- 
duced. Four or five Chinese, of respectable appear- 
ance, were seated in the room with my friend and 
two of his native assistants. A religious inquirer, 
who was formerly a strolling fortune-teller, and, in 
that capacity, had travelled over a considerable num- 
ber of the provinces, and acquired several dialects, also 
formed one of the number, being for the present an 
inmate of the house. After the usual inquiries 
such as my age, and the period of my arrival in Canton 
prompted by Chinese curiosity, were over, the con- 
versation, which had been interrupted, was resumed 
amongst them. One of the assistants had a tract, .which 
he read aloud, adding lengthened comments and expla- 
nations, and thus giving a general outline of Christian 
doctrine. He was succeeded by the other, who, for 
another quarter of an hour, addressed the little com- 
pany on the same subject. During this time the 
visitors listened attentively, nodding assent, and bow- 
ing the whole time to indicate their comprehension. 
My friend also joined in conversation, and replied to 


their questions." Later in the day we made an excur- 
sion in a boat further down the river, taking one of 
the Chinese assistants, and a large supply of religious 
tracts. Landing on the Honan side of the river, about 
two miles below the factories, we made the best of 
our way, through the crowds that were attracted by 
the rare event of a foreigner landing there, to a plat- 
form which was built on piles, and extended a little 
distance into the river. Taking up our station here, 
we speedily had a congregation of about one hundred 
persons, who pressed upon us to such a f degree that 
we had some difficulty in maintaining our position. 
Here, amid houses of the lowest description, and with 
a gang of gamblers in the adjacent room, the native 
assistant preached to an attentive audience the things 
belonging to their everlasting peace. About two 
hundred tracts were afterwards distributed, and por- 
tions of the Word of God circulated among the rapidly- 
increasing crowd, who, in their eagerness to receive 
copies, sometimes transgressed the usual limits of 
Chinese decorum. We walked about, experiencing no 
rude treatment or annoyances, except those prompted 
by a harmless curiosity. It will be difficult, however, 
to disabuse the native mind of the erroneous impres- 
sion, that Christianity, like Confucianism, is more a 
subject of theoretical speculation, than a practical 
principle of purity of heart and life. Not withstand ^ 
ing the attentive interest which seemed to beam in 
every countenance, and the sensible questions which 
indicated their intellectual apprehension of the in- 
structions conveyed to them, we soon had painful 
proof of the laxity of morals which they deemed 
compatible with our Missionary objects. 


Landing about half a mile lower down the river, 
on the opposite side, and at no great distance from 
the southern wall of the city, we soon formed the 
acquaintance of a tea-merchant, in whose shop the 
same scenes recurred, on a smaller scale, and more 
tracts were distributed. The proprietor himself had, 
for gratuitous distribution, some native moral tracts, 
one of which he presented to us, and to the contents 
of which I shall make subsequent allusion. After 
taking tea with him, and giving one or two persons 
with disease of the eye a note of recommendation to 
the Ophthalmic Hospital, we departed to our boat, 
accompanied to the river by about a hundred persons, 
who, if they had wished to gratify any vindictive ma- 
lice against foreigners, were not destitute of materials 
for such an object in the stones and pebbles which 
lay on the beach. Good humour, however, was every- 
where apparent. 

Returning to the Tsing Hai Mun, we dined_,in Chi- 
nese style, with one of the natives ; and in the evening, 
accompanied by my friend, I proceeded to the fac- 
tories. In one of the streets we each took one side of 
the way, and calling at nearly every house, at the hour 
at which masters and servants were eating their even- 
ing meal together, we left amongst the party a tract, 
which was, in every case, received with politeness, and 
often with apparent thankfulness. The subject of the 
tract was " The Love of God," and it contained a 
large portion of 1 Cor. xiii. 

Of the quality of the piety and knowledge possessed 
by the native assistants I was unable to form an opinion. 
They were certainly novices. I saw nothing, however, 
to authorize the suspicion that they were actuated by 


other motives than a desire to promote the glory of 
God. My friend himself has evinced no inconside- 
rable degree of faith and courage in being the first 
Missionary to penetrate the dense masses of the 
suburb-population, and to live amongst them as a 
friend and a brother. He has not had the advantage 
of a liberal education ; and his peculiar plans have 
separated him from the Missionary Society with which 
he was originally connected. He remains, however, 
supported principally by local pecuniary help ; and, 
in the future results of his Missionary labours, it 
will perhaps be found that God often chooses the 
weak things of the world to confound the things that are 

Concerning the little book which we received 
during our stay in the tea-merchant's shop, my old 
teacher, Choo, gave me the following information. It 
was written about thirty years ago by a renowned 
Mandarin, Hang Fung, to discourage the practice of 
drowning female infants, as its title implied. The 
author was a good man, and lieutenant-governor of 
Kwangtung Province. He died about ten years ago. 
This book was originally published, and gratuitously 
distributed, at the expense of the Government ; and 
even now its circulation is promoted at the expense 
of the benevolent portion of the native community. 
This book naturally led me to question Choo further 
respecting the prevalence of female infanticide. In 
reply to my inquiries, he gave me the following statis- 
tical information. Taking a circle of the radius of ten 
miles around the spot where we were, he computed 
that the number of infanticides did not exceed one 
hundred a-year. The practice was entirely confined 


to the poor, and originated in the difficulty of rearing 
their female offspring. Rich men never practised 
the custom ; and even poor men were ashamed of the 
practice. He knew, among his acquaintance, some 
who had drowned their daughters ; but they did not 
like to confess the deed, but would speak of their 
children having died of disease. In Fokeen Province, 
on the other hand, female infanticides were very pre- 
valent. At a place called Kea-Ying-Chow, about five 
days' journey, or 800 le, above Canton (placed, in the 
map, in the north-east of the province, but bordering 
on Fokeen), there were computed to be 500 or 600 
female infanticides in a month. The comparative in- 
frequency of the mal-practice at Canton he ascribed 
to the foundling-hospital there established, and super- 
intended by the Government. He computed that 5000 
female children, the offspring of parents in circum- 
stances of poverty and want, were annually taken 
to this institution, where they received a tempo- 
rary provision and sustenance, under the inspection 
of an officer who visited the hospital every five 
days, and granted a certain sum for the purpose. 
From time to time, the more affluent class of mer- 
chants and gentry visit the hospital, and select some 
of the children, whom they take to their home, and 
educate for concubines or servants. The institution 
is capable of containing about one thousand infants ; 
and each child is generally removed in the space of 
two or three months, either being taken to the homes 
of the wealthy, or being sent to wet nurses to be 
reared apart from the foundling-hospital. This is 
the only institution of the kind in the province ; and a 
portion of the rates levied on foreign ships, in former 


times, was professedly for the support of this esta- 
blishment, which is situated about a mile from the 
city, in the eastern suburbs. These facts account for 
the general exemption of Canton from infanticide. 
But the circumstance of individual Chinese incurring 
the expense of gratuitously distributing a pamphlet 
discouraging the practice, is sufficient proof, to every 
reasonable mind, that the evil still exists to a la- 
mentable extent, rendering the appliance of such 
a moral remedy necessary. Another young native, 
A-tsin, whom, on account of his knowledge of English, 
we engaged for occasional assistance as teacher, sub- 
sequently corroborated the general tenor of Choo's 

Nov. 4th to 18th It is difficult for a person, merely 
resident at the southern port of Canton, to form a just 
conception of the real character of social life among 
the more refined classes of Chinese. Practically re- 
strained within the narrow boundaries of the foreign 
hongs, and excluded from a free intercourse with the 
gentry of rank and influence, the utmost acquaintance 
that a foreigner can acquire, during a residence 
of even several years at Canton, will resemble rather an 
occasional and hasty glimpse, than a matured insight 
into their manners. Of the majesty of Chinese law, 
and the real character of their religion, the circum- 
scribed limits of a foreigner's residence render it im- 
possible to speak from that extensive observation 
which the other free ports offer to the inquiring mind. 

Of the former I saw nothing which led me to form 
any great estimation. A procession of Mandarins once 
passed me on their way to the river, to which they 
were escorted by a number of police-runners, a sorry 


band of musicians, and the usual insignia decorating 
their sedan-chairs. There was nothing imposing in 
the aspect of the officials, some of whom were very 
portly, and others labouring under the decrepitude 
of old age. 

Of the influence which religion exerts over the daily 
life and actions of the community, it is less difficult, 
although not easy, to form an estimate. The unedu- 
cated are manifestly idolaters; nor do the better 
classes seem to rise much above the superstitions of 
the vulgar. In fact, the Chinese have no acknow- 
ledged system of religious belief, except a compound 
or farrago of all the strange vagaries which falsehood, 
priestcraft, mysticism, and fear have combined in 
diffusing alike among Budhists, Taouists, and Confu- 
cians. Their notions are wild, vague, and confused ; 
and they are ready to ingraft on the multiplied 
absurdities of their belief any unmeaning practice 
which may seem likely to procure a lucky omen, or 
the favour of chance. Of this character are the nume- 
rous illuminations, theatricals, and offerings, which 
at this season of the year abound in Canton. The 
destructive ravages of fire among whole streets, ren- 
dered still more destructive by the light combustible 
materials of which their houses are composed, have 
led to the practice of propitiating the tutelary deities 
of the neighbourhood by a yearly offering at the com- 
mencement of the winter season. Subscriptions are 
collected to raise a fund for this purpose ; and whole 
streets may be seen in their turn, night after night, bril- 
liantly illuminated for a general holiday. Public com- 
panies are also formed for supplying the usual lamps, 
festoons, musicians, images, and other accessories, 


which grace the festive occasion. At the end of some 
of the streets the effect to the eye is magnificently grand, 
where the tradesmen have been unusually successful 
in business since the former similar occasion, and, 
as an acknowledgment, subscribe their money for a 
festival of more than ordinary grandeur. In walk- 
ing through the streets, the attention is suddenly 
arrested by ingeniously-contrived machinery, per- 
forming, by means of images, many of the acts 
of ordinary life, to the gratification of the crowd 
below. A little further on, a company of living 
musicians, in a retired recess or gallery, accompanying 
the voice of some artiste of song, rivet the attention of 
silent admirers. Suddenly, in some wider part of the 
street, numerous drums, gongs, and the shrill tones of 
the peculiar Chinese falsetto voice, indicate the prin- 
cipal centre of attraction. On an elevated stage 
may be seen mandarin processions ; battles between 
the Celestials and Barbarians (in which the former, 
of course, are always victorious) ; native heroes 
slaying their thousands, and whirling round in the 
violence of martial fury ; and horsemen whipping 
their unruly steeds, as well as the whip and the action 
can compensate for the absence of the imaginary 
animal. Soon, again, imperial councils and the politic 
measures of sage rulers, together with an occasional 
introduction to an interior view of Chinese social life, 
may be seen acted in all the pompous majesty of actual 
reality, amid the plaudits of the enthusiastic assem- 
blage. On one occasion, the mal-practices and am- 
bitious career of Tsaou- Tsaou, a wicked Mandarin in 
the Han Dynasty, the Napoleon of his age and 
country, were the subject of representation. The 


interest and sympathies of the assemblage seemed to 
be intense, as they watched the misfortunes of the 
devoted Emperor and his faithful adherents, and the 
evil successes of the ambitious rebel-chief, who subse- 
quently founded a dynasty in the person of his grand- 
son. The actors spoke the Nanking, or old court- 
dialect, and were arrayed in sumptuous dresses. At 
intervals, one of their attendants advanced to the front 
of the stage, and changed the inscription on a tablet, 
which always exhibited some moral maxim, of which 
the coming scene was to be illustrative. The inhabi- 
tants of each locality seek, by these festive rites, pro- 
fessedly to appease the presiding genii of the place, 
but in reality to please themselves. The parts of 
women are sustained by young men or boys. It 
affords some insight into the real estimation in which 
players are held by the educated and influential 
classes, to know that theatrical actors, however their 
accomplished arts are sought by all, are nevertheless, 
in common with menials and priests, excluded from 
the privilege of literary examinations, and conse- 
quently from all hope of rising to a station of power 
and wealth. 

Such are some of the impressions which were made 
on my mind during the period of this my first visit to 
Canton ; as their outline still lingers on the memory, 
and helps to recall my thoughts to the first vivid 
associations and exciting novelties of Chinese life. 
The remembrance of those happy hours is still fresh, 
and sheds a peculiar fragrance on a period of the past, 
consecrated by many blessings. 





THE combined effects of climate and close application 
to the study of Chinese on my health at length ren- 
dered it necessary, in the opinion of my medical ad- 
viser, that I should leave for Macao, for change of air. 
Accordingly, on Nov. 14th, I left Canton soon after 
sunset, in a native fast-boat, accompanied by two 
American gentlemen. After a voyage of about thirty 
hours, during which I suffered considerably from pain 
in the head and fever, we came to anchor in Macao 
harbour soon after midnight, on the 15th. My two 
companions immediately disembarked ; but being 
myself too unwell to land at that hour, I remained 
in the boat till morning. The little sleep I could get, 
amidst the dashing of the boats against each other, 


was effectually interrupted at day-break by the curi- 
osity of the people in the adjoining boats, men and 
women, who pulled open the Venetians at the side 
of my boat, and surveyed the contents of the cabin. 
As often as they were driven off, they would 
return and repeat the experiment, so that I had 
at length to dress with about twenty people intently 
gazing on me during the process. On landing, I 
proceeded to a Portuguese hotel, where I was confined 
to my room for three days, and removed to the 
house of an American Missionary, the Rev. W. Lowrie, 
whose hospitality and Christian kindness were a double 
comfort to me in my present circumstances. Under 
his roof I spent a fortnight, occasionally taking short 
walks on the neighbouring beach and in the adjoin- 
ing localities ; and enjoying the advantage of fre- 
quent intercourse with a few Missionaries lately 
arrived from America, and temporarily resident at 

The view of Macao is very striking, as seen from 
the harbour, and the place itself forms the most 
delightful residence open to foreigners in China, 
Having been for two centuries in the possession of 
the Portuguese, it presents to the eye the aspect of a 
European city, with its assemblage of churches, 
towers, and forts. It stands on an inconsiderable pro- 
montory of the island of Heang-shan, from which it is 
separated, at the isthmus, by a narrow fortification, 
jealously guarded in former times by the Chinese, to 
prevent communication with the interior. It pos- 
sesses two fine harbours, the inner and the outer, 
one on each side of the headland. Its fine broad 
roads on the semi-circular beach present a motley 

F 2 


appearance of the various races, of Chinese and 
European descent, which form its population. The 
European houses are spacious and of handsome ex- 
terior. Until the conclusion of the late war, it was 
the only residence for the families of foreign mer- 
chants, who were prohibited from taking their wives 
to Canton. The settlement of Hong Kong, and the 
more liberal regulations of the Chinese government in 
regard to the residence of foreign ladies at Canton, 
have operated conjointly in causing the removal of 
nearly all the British and American residents; and 
only a few American families now remain at Macao. 
For their confirmed possession of this isolated spot on 
the frontiers of China, so important under the old 
Chinese policy, both in a mercantile and religious 
point of view, the Portuguese are indebted to the 
gratitude of former Chinese monarchs, in return for 
the opportune services rendered them in the suppres- 
sion of the pirates who, under the leadership of the 
noted Coshinga, endangered the stability of the ruling 
dynasty. On account of the ambiguous position and 
circumscribed sphere occupied by the few Missio- 
naries at Canton, Macao may be said to have been 
the only station, in former times, on the soil of China 
Proper, really invested with a Missionary character. 
Macao, in many respects, resembled a fashionable 
watering-place in England, and abounded with the 
comforts, the refinements, and even the luxuries of 
European life. Such a locality was little adapted 
to develope Missionary zeal, or to impress the 
native mind with a respect for our religion. It 
was, however, the only accessible point on the fron- 
tiers of a benighted empire, which seemed to have 


entirely closed every other avenue to the approach 
of Christian light. The few Protestant Missionaries, 
who were stationed here, had to contend with many 
discouragements. On the one hand was a Popish 
priesthood, intimately connected with the local govern- 
ment, narrowly watching the measures of Missionaries, 
and ready to crush, at the earliest stage, any attempts 
to make converts to Protestantism. On the other 
hand, the Missionaries possessed only limited means of 
intercourse with a depraved Chinese population, pre- 
senting materials the most heterogeneous and unlikely 
to be conformed to the principles of the Gospel. 
Added to which, there was a mixed authority, in Macao 
itself, of the Portuguese and Chinese governments. 
The precise boundary of their divided authority 
was a subject of continual doubt, as also of occa- 
sional altercation ; so that it was only by the suffe- 
rance of two adversaries, equally opposed to the truth, 
that these incipient and disproportionate efforts were 
conducted for the moral emancipation of the Chinese 
race. A short time before the late war between 
Britain and China, there were at Macao only four 
Protestant Missionaries able to speak Chinese fluently. 
Their efforts were principally directed to the issuing 
of Christian publications from the Missionary press, 
to the translation or revision of the Holy Scriptures, 
to the preparation and distribution of Religious Tracts, 
to medical institutions for the benefit of the natives, 
and to the education of the few native children whom 
they were able to obtain. Direct Missionary labours 
were conducted, when attempted at all, on a small 
scale ; and the preaching of the Gospel was de- 
prived of that prominence among God's appointed 


means for converting mankind, which, in other parts 
of the world, it justly occupies. The remains of 
the Rev. Dr. Morrison, his wife, and his son, Mr. John 
Robert Morrison, and also those of the Rev. S. Dyer, 
are interred in the European burial-ground, in the 
castle-gardens. These names will ever be remem- 
bered among the first Protestant Missionaries to the 
Chinese ; and be regarded by future Chinese converts 
with affectionate gratitude, as those of some of the 
most illustrious benefactors of their race. In the 
early stages of his Missionary career, it was only by 
entrenching himself behind employments of a secular 
kind, that Morrison was enabled to maintain his 
ground against the bigoted jealousy of a Popish priest- 
hood and an illiberal government. Without such 
official position Milne was, speedily after his arrival, 
banished from this contemplated scene of Missionary 
labour to the more distant stations in the Straits of 
Malacca. The principal establishment of the Jesuits 
has been recently removed from Macao to the British 
settlement of Hong Kong, where they are permitted 
to purchase ground from the government to build a 
Mission-house and Church, and to pursue without 
restraint their work of proselytism, under the mild 
toleration of a Protestant rule. Such is the contrast to 
be seen in the prevailing spirit of Popery and Pro- 
testantism, when respectively influencing the policy of 

On the morning of December 2d, I left Macao for 
Hong Kong, in a native passage-boat, crowded with 
Chinese passengers, who pretty well divided their 
whole time between eating, smoking, and gambling. 
Being the only European on board, for a small sum 


I was indulged with the privilege of having a little 
room separated off from the main body of my fellow- 
passengers, who, however, still rendered themselves 
very unpleasant companions by the clouds of opium 
and tobacctf-smoke which they sent into my berth. 
The next day at noon we arrived at Hong Kong, and 
I was soon after domiciled in the residence of the 
Colonial Chaplain, the Rev. Vincent Stanton, who, 
with his excellent wife, paid me unremitting kindness 
during my protracted sojourn beneath their hospitable 
roof. My friend, Mr. M'Clatchie, arriving from Can- 
ton, joined me at Hong Kong on December 20th ; 
and on the 20th of February following he embarked 
for Shanghai, in order to fix his permanent abode, and 
to pursue his Chinese studies at that port, which, on 
the whole, seemed most likely to become one of the 
contemplated Stations of the Church Missionary So- 
ciety. The exploratory work of visiting all the 
newly-opened ports of China was left to me, which, 
however, the continued weakness of my health pre- 
vented my attempting till after the close of the 
unfavourable monsoon, later in the spring. 

The ordinary incidents of my residence at Hong 
Kong, though they must ever be deeply impressed on 
my own mind in the retrospect of its many mercies 
and privileges, I shall pass over, as being of a nature 
little calculated to give information concerning China 
and the Chinese. A few particulars will be given, 
illustrative of the general position of Missionaries, 
and the character of Missionary pursuits, in this 
recently-acquired appendage to the colonial empire 
of Britain. A more comprehensive view of the 
probable influence of Hong Kong on the destinies 


of the Chinese race, and the real advantages which 
it secures to the Missionary of the cross, as well, also, 
as its general eligibility as a centre of Missionary 
operations, will be reserved for more systematic and 
enlarged consideration at the close of the volume. 
A view of the state of things in the Consular ports 
on the mainland of China, will enable the reader, 
with greater correctness and approximation to truth, to 
form his opinion of the relative advantages of Hong 
Kong and those ports, as he accompanies the author 
in the journal of his tour along the coast. During the 
period of my temporary residence at Hong Kong, 
I enjoyed the valuable privilege of continued inter- 
course with the various Missionaries who were at 
this time assembled at Hong Kong in more than their 
ordinary number ; many of them being either tempo- 
rary residents in the colony, by way of testing its 
eligibility, or visiting the place on their route to some 
other Missionary Station on the coast. From some of 
these, who had been for several years in the Missio- 
nary field, I received valuable counsel and infor- 
mation, which compensated, in a great degree, for 
the length of time during which I was, by various 
circumstances, detained at Hong Kong. 

One of the most remarkable men in China is 
already well known to the religious part of the 
community at home, by the published accounts of 
his Missionary voyages along the coast in former 
times the Rev. C. GutzlafF. Though he doubtless 
saw many things through the medium of a sanguine 
mind, and his opinions are consequently received with 
caution by the Missionaries ; yet his past Missio- 
nary labours for the benefit of the Chinese were con- 


ducted in a spirit of boldness and courage worthy the 
apostolic age. His knowledge of various Chinese 
dialects, and his extraordinary mental and physical 
activity, qualify him for an abundant measure of use- 
fulness, such as few men can attain. It is therefore a 
subject to be regretted, that, by the close engagements 
of his office as Chinese Secretary and Interpreter to 
the Government, he is to a great extent separated from 
Missionary work. He still, however, makes Mis- 
sionary excursions in the evenings and on the Sabbath 
Day, among the Chinese villages, in company with 
some native preachers in whom he has confidence ; 
and, with all his secular engagements, is able to do 
almost as much in active exertion as ordinary Mis- 
sionaries are able to effect without such secular em- 
ployment. A brief account of an excursion, in 
which he kindly invited me to accompany him, will 
give some idea of the class of Chinese on the island, 
and the degree of intercourse which can be held with 
them for Missionary purposes. 

On Dec. 22d, about nine o'clock, A. M., we embarked 
in a Chinese boat, accompanied by two native 
preachers, named A-seaou and A-tai, and proceeded 
along the harbour in an easterly direction. The 
morning was bright and beautiful, though the cold air 
made an upper coat indispensable to our full comfort. 
The towering hills of Hong Kong on our right, and 
the bold outline of the opposite coast, with native 
huts and villages on the mainland, and a number of 
Chinese junks and war-vessels sailing about in the 
opposite bay of Cow-loon, gave a pleasing and 
romantic effect to the scene. We doubled the 
small headland, which forms the eastern boundary 


of the harbour, and soon lost sight of the town of 
Victoria. Our plan was to have passed through the 
Lirnun Channel, and, steering northward, to have 
reached a populous village on the mainland, about 
twenty miles distant. As the tide had now turned 
against us, and the wind was also unfavourable, there 
remained no probability of our reaching the village 
till late in the afternoon. We accordingly changed 
our course, and determined on making the bay, which 
extends about two miles along the shore of Hong 
Kong to the point forming the Limun passage, the 
scene of our day's operations. We therefore disem- 
barked, and directed the Chinese in the boat to watch 
our movements, and to follow us at a little distance 
from the beach. We first landed at a stone quarry, 
where the Chinese workmen were induced to leave 
their labour, and, without any difficulty or delay, about 
twenty natives were assembled around us, and formed 
a little congregation of attentive listeners. Mr. Gutzlaff 
commenced addressing them, in their own language, 
on the truths of the Gospel, with much energy, 
adapting himself in tone, gesture, and manner, to 
the assemblage before him. They listened with ap- 
parent pleasure, frequently responding and offering 
observations. He was succeeded in turn by his two 
native assistants, who, with much animation, especially 
A-tai, the younger, addressed their fellow-countrymen. 
The whole was concluded by Mr. Gutzlaff offering a 
short prayer to the Almighty. We then departed, after 
leaving a few tracts, amid the plaudits and salutations 
of the assembly, most of whom had something to say 
to us. In this way we proceeded over a space of two 
miles, which was covered at almost every level and 


habitable point by native huts of rude construction, 
but with substantial outer walls to repel the inroads 
of pirates and freebooters. They seemed to re- 
cognise, in Mr. Gutzlaff and his native assistants, old 
acquaintances ; and the authoritative tone and manner 
with which he compelled any hesitating or inattentive 
individual to give his presence and attention was 
sometimes amusing. At one time we had a congre- 
gation in the open air, with the heavens as our 
canopy, and the rugged soil as the pulpit. At 
another time we met in some native dwelling, where 
the tenants of the adjoining huts were congregated, 
Mr. Gutzlaff stationing himself at the door to allow 
free ingress, but to prevent the egress of any refractory 
individual. His mild compulsions were received with 
good humour, extracting a smile from the object of 
them, and approval from the rest. The majority were 
eager to listen, following us, in some instances, to the 
next place of meeting, where the services underwent 
a slight change or alternation of the parts assigned 
to each preacher. Some of the more intelligent list- 
eners made remarks in the course of the address. 
The dialect which they spoke was the Hok-ha, which 
differs considerably from the Canton dialect generally 
spoken in these parts. While Mr. Gutzlaff, with his 
usual activity, mounted a hill, which I deemed my 
strength unequal to the labour of climbing, my 
attention was attracted, by the frequent noise of fire- 
works and crackers, to a little eminence, to which 
some degree of sanctity seemed to be attached. On 
ascending it, I saw two or three ugly idols, black in 
appearance, and only about six inches in height, with 
sundry decorations, and a quantity of gilt paper 


representing garments in miniature. Before them 
were little cups filled with tea, and spacious dishes of 
recently-cooked fowl and ham, with potatoes and yams, 
and the usual appendages of a Chinese feast. Two 
women and three or four men were all that visited the 
place during the time I remained. They left the food 
exposed without any fear of its being taken away ; 
but this appearance of devoutness generally terminates 
in their removing the offerings, and having a feast on 
them at their own houses. 

We next went on board a boat anchored close to the 
beach, and filled with a cargo of paving-stones. The 
crew amounted to about twenty, and evinced a shy 
manner. Here we had a service, necessarily rendered 
short by their heedless, inattentive, and unwilling dis- 
position. Mr. Gutzlaff, in the course of his address, 
told them they were pirates and robbers, wicked men, 
living without God, and exhorted them to repentance 
of sin and faith in His Son. They showed no dispo- 
sition to revenge the low opinion entertained of their 
morality, and attempted no denial. The whole popu- 
lation of these scattered hamlets consists, with few ex- 
ceptions, of Chinese of the lowest description and cha- 
racter, driven by outlawry and crime, as frequently as 
by the want of subsistence elsewhere, to the neigh- 
bourhood of this new British Settlement, This reflec- 
tion, together with the novelty of our situation, helped 
to excite me to . earnest prayer for the presence and 
blessing of the Holy Spirit. While listening to the 
yet unfamiliar sounds and tones of the Chinese lan- 
guage applied to the new and exalted object of 
prayer to the true God, I trust I joined in spirit, and 
found it good to be there. Six hours were spent in 


such visits. The last place of meeting was at a large 
village, in the shop of a tradesman of respectable 
appearance. The largest assemblage during the day 
amounted to about fifty persons ; and probably three 
or four hundred in all heard the sound of the Gospel. 
We re-embarked about half-past four P.M., and, having 
a fair breeze, sailed towards Victoria, on our return, 
at a brisk rate. The people whom we visited were 
generally Budhists in practice, and idols were con- 
spicuous in every dwelling. 

Not long after the former excursion, some other 
Missionaries formed a little party to accompany 
Agong, a Chinese Christian, baptized about sixteen 
years ago by the late Dr. Morrison, and now engaged 
as a native preacher in connexion with the Medical 
Missionary Hospital, on a visit to the villages on the 
mainland opposite to Victoria. I went in the com- 
pany ; and as no one present could speak the local 
dialect fluently, Agong was the chief speaker on the 
occasion. We were attended by a native boy, who 
carried books and tracts for distribution. The latter 
was almost a superfluous work, as in these parts hardly 
one man in a village can read a book, though many 
are able to understand a sufficient number of charac- 
ters to keep a shop or to reckon their debts. There 
was a hope, however, of their ultimately falling into 
the hands of more intelligent readers. On landing at 
a village called Sham-Shwui, our party separated 
into two bodies, in order to disarm the fears of 
the people ; two of our number sallying forth on a 
pedestrian excursion over the neighbouring hill, while 
a Medical Missionary and myself proceeded through 
the various hamlets, where little assemblages of willing 


hearers, prompted by curiosity, were got together, 
and Agong addressed them on the contents of the 
tracts distributed. A few cases of disease were also 
examined, and the patients were invited to come to 
the Medical Missionary Institution in Hong Kong, 
where their cases would receive attention. Copies of 
the internal regulations of the hospital were also cir- 
culated, in which a due prominence was given to the 
Christian objects of the hospital, and the daily assem- 
bling of the patients for devotion and hearing the 
Gospel. Much interlocutory dialogue passed between 
Agong and some of his countrymen. " What do you 
come for?" was generally the first query. He re- 
plied, not to get money, but to tell them of Jesus Christ 
and His Gospel. One woman asked him how much 
money we wanted to get from them, if they brought 
her sick child to the hospital. He replied, None. 
This reply seemed to produce incredulity among them, 
and drew forth expressions of doubt ; till Agong, 
stroking his white beard most ostentatiously, invited 
them to mark that sign of advanced age, and then to 
reflect whether he, so old a man, would deceive them, 
or allure them to Hong Kong by false promises. In 
this way we passed through several hamlets for a 
mile and a half, nothing remarkable occurring during 
the walk. The country was in a moderate state of 
cultivation, chiefly consisting of fields planted with 
sweet potatoes, and a kind of cabbage resembling a 
lettuce. The paths were very tortuous, being con- 
fined to the narrow fences between the several 
enclosures, and having little rills of water running 
close to them. The beach was fine, spacious, and 
sandy ; and the people were open and simple in their 


manners, one of them serving us with some tea. At 
the first village, we assembled at the entrance of a 
little temple, dedicated to the "goddess of mercy," 
or "queen of heaven," represented by an image of a 
female divinity with a male child in her arms. Behind 
her image, at a little distance, were those of the three 
Budhs. The people appeared to take delight in 
showing us the various sacred objects ; but there 
was an entire absence of any indications of religious 
awe. Near this little temple was a house, with 
a long inscription over a gate, leading into the 
principal court, which resembled a small farm-yard. 
This was to inform the passer-by that some rela- 
tive of the inmate was a successful candidate for 
literary distinction, and had obtained a keu-jin 

The inhabitants of these scattered villages subsist 
apparently by agriculture and fishing. They extend 
over a mile and a half, and are within sight of the 
town of Victoria. 

On various other occasions I made excursions to 
the neighbouring villages on the island, and to the 
opposite village of Cow-loon, on the mainland, con- 
taining about 3000 people and a Chinese fort. I ex- 
tended my visits also to some of the numerous little 
islands, known by the general name of Ladrones, 
given to them by the Portuguese in former times, 
on account of the piratical character of the inha- 

During the period of my residence at Hong Kong 
an ordinance was passed by the Legislative Council, 
granting powers to the Executive to punish any Chinese 
who might be proved to belong to a secret Society. 


A notice of the circumstances will help to afford an 
insight into the social character and condition of the 
motley population now gathered under the wing of 
British law in Hong Kong. In China there are 
several secret Societies, the members of which are 
banded together for certain objects. The principal 
association of this kind is the San hwui, or "Triad 
Society." This is supposed primarily to have been 
a political combination of the adherents of the old 
Chinese dynasty, for the object of expelling the pre- 
sent foreign dynasty. The members are bound by 
oath to secresy and mutual assistance. A large number 
are thus enrolled, especially in the southern extremity 
of the empire, where the original objects of the insti- 
tution have gradually given way to a general spirit of 
lawlessness, plunder, and rebellion. In short, both the 
members of this and similar confederations are now 
composed of the most disorderly portion of the commu- 
nity ; their system of oaths and bond of secresy afford- 
ing full scope and opportunity tp thieves and bandits 
to prosecute their evil vocations, with little danger of 
detection. The recent discovery of a gang of thieves, 
with their secret papers, furnished a clue to the 
existence of these confederations in Hong Kong, where 
the predatory character of many of the Chinese set- 
tlers rendered such means of mutual connivance and 
secresy a formidable barrier to the prevention or de- 
tection of crime. The ordinance in question com- 
mences with the following preamble, illustrative of 
the character of these Societies in the view of the pro- 
pounders of the ordinance : 

" Whereas the ' Triad Society,' and other secret 
Societies prevalent in China, exist among the inhabi- 


tants of the island of Hong Kong ; and whereas these 
associations have objects in view which are incom- 
patible with the maintenance of good order and con- 
stituted authority, and with the security of life and 
property, and afford, by means of a secret agency, 
facilities for the commission of crime, and for the 
escape of offenders : 

" Be it therefore enacted," &c. &c. 

The penalties specified are, imprisonment for three 
years, branding on the right cheek, and banishment 
from the island. It is feared that a large proportion 
of the Chinese population of Hong Kong are members 
of one or more of these associations, which, in some 
respects, resemble the nature of benefit-clubs, in addi- 
tion to their censurable objects. 

These confederations, and especially the " Triad 
Society," have always been an occasion of alarm to 
the reigning government of China; and persons con- 
victed of membership have been visited with most 
severe punishment, as furnishing a nucleus to the 
more lawless and rebellious elements of society, and 
enabling notorious criminals to defeat the power of 
justice and authority. The many proclamations from 
the local government of Canton, of the same date, 
proved the anxiety and trouble which they occasion 
to the Chinese Government. 

The origin and history of the " Triad Society " are 
confessedly involved in much mystery and uncertainty. 
The existence of such societies is an instance of the 
anomalous combination of the elements of weakness 
and strength in the Government, and exerts a consi- 
derable influence on the rulers, in the absence of 
popular representation ; so that, in many parts of 



the Empire, the Chinese democracy is beginning to 
assume a formidable aspect. 

Before leaving Hong Kong, I accompanied a Mis- 
sionary friend, on several occasions, to the Chinese por- 
tion of the town, walking through the native bazaar 
and the back streets bordering on the beach, where 
we distributed tracts in some houses among the few 
persons capable of reading them. In several houses 
we witnessed the apparatus for opium-smoking, but 
saw no one in the act of smoking till we came to the 
house of a wealthy Chinese, named A-quei. He pos- 
sesses about fifty houses in the bazaar, and lives on 
the rent, in a style much above the generality of Chi- 
nese settlers, who are commonly composed of the re- 
fuse of the population of the neighbouring mainland. 
During the war, A-quei acted as purveyor of provi- 
sions to the British armament, and acquired some 
wealth. After the peace, he was at first afraid to 
return to the mainland, lest he should be seized as a 
traitor by the Mandarins. In the end he settled at 
Hong Kong, where he is said to encourage disre- 
putable characters by the loan of money, and in 
various ways to reap the proceeds of profligacy and 
crime. He introduced us to a partner, named A-tai, 
whom we saw in the process of smoking opium, in- 
haling the smoke through the mouth and emitting it 
through the nose. The thick fluid of prepared opium 
being held for a few moments over a flame, till it be- 
came more solid, was placed in the bowl of the pipe, 
which was held over a small glass lamp, burning for 
the purpose ; and the smoker, stretched on a kind of 
couch with a head-pillow, gently reposed himself, in 
order to enjoy the exciting effects of the fumes. A-tai 


had just purchased, as the highest bidder, from 
Government, the exclusive right of selling opium by 
retail, in any quantity less than a chest, in Hong 
Kong. For this he said that he had agreed to pay 
550 dollars a month. He intended to institute an 
office, from which he could sell licenses to individual 
opium-house keepers to retail the drug ; and out of 
these licenses he hoped to make his profits, after 
paying the 550 dollars monthly to the British Go- 
vernment. Some flaw was, however, subsequently 
detected in the terms of the agreement ; and after 
passing through various hands, the monopoly was 
finally purchased by A-quei himself. Reference will 
be made hereafter to the extortion, and general detri- 
ment to the interests of the colony, which the system 
of management pursued by A-quei speedily tended 
to create. The tracts against opium, which my 
companion distributed, might have provoked well- 
merited censure on our national inconsistency. A-quei 
conducted us into a room, where he was sitting with 
his two wives, handsomely attired, looking from a 
window on the crowd assembled in the street to 
witness the performances of a native juggler. The 
latter, after haranguing the crowd with much anima- 
tion in the Nanking dialect (as is usual with actors), 
proceeded to one part of the crowd, and took thence 
a child, apparently five or six years old, who, with 
struggling reluctance, was led into the centre of the 
circle. The man then, with impassioned gestures, 
violently threw the child on a wooden stool, and, 
placing him on his back, flourished over him a 
large knife ; the child all the time sobbing and crying, 
as if from fright. Two or three older men from the 


crowd approached with earnest remonstrances against 
the threatened deed of violence. For a time he de- 
sisted ; but soon after returning to the child, who was 
still uttering most pitiable cries, he placed him with 
his back upwards, and, notwithstanding the violent 
protests of the seniors, he suddenly dashed the knife 
into the back of the child's neck, which it appeared to 
enter till it had almost divided it from the head, the 
blood meanwhile flowing copiously from the wound, and 
streaming to the ground and over the hands of the man. 
The struggles of the child grew more and more feeble, 
and at last altogether ceased. The man then arose, 
leaving the knife firmly fixed in the child's neck. 
Copper cash were now thrown liberally into the 
ring for the benefit of the principal actors. These 
were collected by assistants, all of them viewing the 
influx of the coins with great delight, and bowing 
continually to the spectators, and reiterating the 
words, " To seay" " Many thanks." After a time, the 
man proceeded towards the corpse, pronounced a few 
words, took away the knife, and called aloud to the 
child. Soon there appeared the signs of returning 
animation. The stiffness of death gradually relaxed, 
and at last he stood up among the eager crowd, who 
closed around him and bountifully rewarded him with 
cash. The performance was evidently one which ex- 
cited delight in the bystanders, who, by their con- 
tinued shouts, showed their approbation of the acting. 







DURING the month of February my friend and host, 
the Colonial Chaplain of Hong Kong, availed himself 
of the opportunity afforded by my temporary stay to 
leave his charge, on a visit to Canton. On the 
morning of his departure from Canton, he took a walk, 
in company with Mr. Jackson, the Vice-Consul, and 
Mr. Martin, the Colonial Treasurer, around the walls 
of the city. They set off for their circumambulatory 
trip at daybreak, and had walked along the full 
extent of the western wall, and were already passing 
along the high ground on the northern side of the 
city, when a company of bandit-villagers, whom they 
saw assembling, quickly overtook them with spears, 
swords, and other implements of violence ; and after 
overpowering them easily (as resistance seemed hope- 
less against their numbers), robbed them of their 
watches, money, and other valuables. After this, 


they had not proceeded far, before another party of 
robbers pounced upon them, and were commencing 
to strip them of their garments, till discouraged by 
others of the crowd. To complete the maltreatment, 
large stones, weighing several pounds, were forcibly 
rolled down from the watch-towers, by some Chinese 
on the city-walls, probably soldiers, and not without 
the connivance of their superiors. Our friends, how- 
ever, completed their survey of the circuit of the wall. 
These circumstances, joined to some recent local 
negotiations between the British and American Con- 
suls and the Mandarins, relative to the non-admission 
of foreigners within the city, became the occasion of a 
special communication with the highest native au- 
thorities. A subordinate official was deputed by the 
Mandarins to wait on the British Consul, at whose 
residence one of the injured party held a conversation 
with the aforesaid official, through an interpreter. To 
all his asseverations the Chinaman replied by frequent 
yawnings, and by protesting against the villany and 
vice of the populace, who, he said, were not civilized 
like the people in the northern ports, and whose an- 
tipathy and violence against foreigners the authorities 
were unable to restrain. It was hinted to him that this 
might be a convenient excuse for the Chinese autho- 
rities to allege, but was no good reason why British 
subjects should be left exposed to bodily assault ; and 
that if the Chinese Governor declared his inability to 
protect British residents, it might be rendered impe- 
ratively necessary to station a body of British troops 
at Canton, to overawe the populace and preserve 

A few days after, the Governor of Hong Kong wrote 


a letter to Ke -Ying, the Chinese Imperial Commis- 
sioner, couched in strong language, on the late indig- 
nity to British subjects, demanding an investigation 
into the matter, and a satisfactory settlement of the 
long-debated question of safe entrance into the city. It 
was also deemed expedient to send the "Vixen" war- 
steamer to Whampoa, to make a demonstration, and 
to suggest the necessity of a speedy effort to make 
reparation by some specific remedy against the inso- 
lence of the mob. By the obliging kindness of the 
captain in command, I obtained a passage on board 
the "Vixen" for Whampoa, whence I intended to 
proceed in a boat to Canton, to spend a few days with 
some friends, from whom sickness had removed me 
rather suddenly to Macao in the last autumn. 

On my coming alongside the steamer, on Monday 
morning, March the 31st, the sentry on duty suggested 
to me that I had better not have my luggage brought 
up the ship's side, as the " Vixen " had received or- 
ders not to go to Whampoa. Wishing to know the 
accuracy of this information, I went on board, and 
proceeded to the captain's cabin, from whom I learnt 
the following particulars. On the preceding day the 
unexpected intelligence had been received at Hong 
Kong of some disturbances at Amoy, and the personal 
insecurity of the Consul and British residents. They 
had urgently requested that some ship-of-war might 
be sent to protect them from the violence of the mob, 
who had been encouraged to acts of pillage by the 
recent evacuation of the neighbouring island of Koo- 
lang-soo by the troops. The Governor, after consul- 
tation with the senior captain in command at Hong 
Kong, had decided, at a late hour of the preceding 


evening, on altering the destination of the "Vixen" 
to Amoy. The captain expressed his regret at my 
disappointment, and kindly offered to give me a 
passage to Amoy instead. As Amoy was one of the 
ports which my instructions from the Church Missio- 
nary Society had appointed me to visit, I gladly ac- 
cepted the proposal ; and hastening on shore to make 
the necessary preparations, I soon returned on board, 
and a little past eleven in the forenoon we weighed 
anchor, and rapidly steamed away out of the harbour. 
The rugged precipitous shores, which on either 
side form the commodious shelter for the fleets of 
Britain in these her newly-acquired possessions in the 
East, and which completely land-lock the harbour, 
shutting out, with the hurricanes that would desolate 
her shipping, the refreshing breezes which would dif- 
fuse salubrity and health through the colony, were 
soon seen lowering in the horizon, as we emerged 
through the Limun passage into the open sea, studded 
with islets, all partaking of the same rugged and deso- 
late appearance. Here and there we perceived some 
fisherman's hut, perched on a little headland, where 
a windlass was contrived to raise or lower the spacious 
nets, which, by means of moveable stakes, extended 
over the adjacent waters. The view was at times 
varied by little patches of ground, reclaimed from the 
barren waste as burial-places ; where filial piety had 
reared the peculiarly-shaped tombs of a semicircular 
or trefoil form ; and where sacrificial honours were 
wont to be paid to the shades of departed ancestors. 
In other parts, a naked unadorned tablet of stone, in- 
scribed with a few characters, told the more humble 
condition of the deceased. A few native villages, with 


fishing boats at anchor, were all the variety that marked 
the successive points of coast which we passed. Sail- 
ing in a south-east direction, we doubled the southern 
headland of the little island of Tamtoo ; and passing 
through the channel, commonly called the Ta-thong- 
mun, we steered in the direction of east by north, at a 
distance varying from four to sixteen miles from the 
shore. Wherever the eye extended, the same mono- 
tony of aspect, both on shore and on the sea, presented 
itself. The land formed one succession of rocky cliffs, 
with occasional flats of sand of inconsiderable extent, 
where not a vestige of vegetation relieved the unin- 
viting barrenness of the soil. On the wide deep, fleets 
of fishing-boats, of one uniform size and appearance, 
met the eye, nothing daunted by the strength of the 
breeze from venturing many miles away from the 
shore. Successively we passed Wochow Island, Nine 
Pins Rock, and, at a greater distance, the various 
creeks which indent the coast, Mirs Bay, Ty-pung 
Bay, and Tysan Bay, till the setting sun left us to 
pursue our track over the watery main, with no other 
variety than that of some venturous fisherman over- 
taken by darkness, and crossing our course in his 
frail craft. 

The next morning we beheld a line of coast par- 
taking of the same general features as that of the 
preceding day, except that the hills were less lofty 
and precipitous, and seemed to retire some distance 
from the shore. Especially to the east of Cap-che- 
san, we perceived a marked alteration in the ap- 
pearance of the land bordering close on the sea. A 
flat country, more or less extended, seemed to inter- 
vene between the beach and the hills rising dimly in 


the distance ; while an immense sand stretched along 
the shore, and received the dashing surge. The thou- 
sands of boats, which studded the sea for many miles, 
here began to partake of a different form, the sails 
being square, instead of the oblique sails further 
south. The men also generally wore the dark tur- 
ban, which marked them as belonging to the hardy 
and enterprising race of the Fokeen province. Some 
of them, however, were diligently plying their oars, 
destitute of clothing of every kind. We had passed 
Breakers' Point and Ma-urh Point, and were already 
near the Lamocks, and within sight of Namoa Island 
in the distance 'the extreme north-east boundary of 
the Canton province, where it joins to Fokeen when 
I felt an unusual sensation, which led me from my 
cabin to the deck, where I found the officers and crew 
assembled, and I received the disappointing intel- 
ligence that an accident had happened to the ma- 
chinery. The engine was completely disabled, and 
our only alternative was to change our course to the 
south-west, and to sail under canvas before the wind, 
which was blowing strong, on our return to Hong 
Kong. Although within ninety miles of Amoy, we 
endeavoured to make the best of our disappointment, 
and pleasantly sailed along with a favourable breeze, 
returning by precisely the same course. During the 
next night another casualty befel us. A poor native 
fishing crew, probably asleep in their boat, were run 
down by our vessel with such force as to carry away 
her masts and sails. Immediately after their disaster 
they began to blow a horn, to beat gongs, and to 
burn flakes of idol-paper, which they scattered abroad 
to propitiate the divinities of the deep. As one or 


two other boats were close by, ready to render assis- 
tance to the sinking boat, and to save the crew, we 
pursued our course with the damage of our jib-boom, 
which was broken asunder by the violence of the con- 
cussion, and our starboard paddle-wheel injured by the 
fishing-nets becoming entangled with it. At noon, on 
Wednesday, April 2d, after about forty-eight hours' 
absence, we slowly sailed into harbour, and came to 
anchor off the town. I returned from our cruise of 
400 miles, greatly invigorated by the trip. My friends 
were surprised to see me so soon after my departure, 
till an explanation removed the whole mystery. In 
the meantime, intelligence had reached Hong Kong 
that the alarm at Amoy had been premature, and 
the disturbances only temporary ; and thus no in- 
convenience or danger was likely to ensue from our 
having returned to Hong Kong. The "Medusa" 
war-steamer was at Amoy, and tranquillity had been 

The next day, April 3d, I carried out my former plan 
of visiting Canton, and accordingly set out in the even- 
ing in a passage-boat, with two Europeans and some 
Lascars as fellow-passengers. We arrived at Whampoa 
the next afternoon, where our Chinese steersman got 
into trouble. As he approached the ship, on board of 
which he was to discharge the Lascar passengers, he 
steered the boat so near that our mast carried away a 
spar from the ship's rigging, which came down about 
our heads, to our personal jeopardy. The consequence 
was, that the head man of our crew was made a prisoner, 
and safely lodged on board the ship till he should 
make good the damage. Long and impassioned argu- 
ments passed between the several members of our 


crew and the English captain. At last the matter was 
so far compromised as to enable us, after half-an- 
hour's detention, to proceed on our voyage, by the 
captain taking the board inscribed with the boat's 
number and license, which he held as security for 
payment of the estimated cost of repair. This mis- 
hap cast a damp on the spirits of the crew, which, 
however, was slightly dissipated by the intimation that 
some of us intended to give them a small sum towards 
their loss. Our servants during the voyage engaged 
in gambling with such eagerness, that it was only by 
a resolute severity of tone that we could get the 
slightest attention paid to our wants. The latter part 
of the voyage was tedious, but the scenery about sun- 
set was very pleasing. We slowly passed along the 
thousands of boats and junks which lay in the crowded 
river, and at 9 P.M. came to anchor off the foreign 
factories at Canton. 

The first intelligence I received at Canton, bearing 
on the Missionary work, was a rumoured edict of tole- 
ration of the Christian religion by the Imperial Go- 
vernment. Application had been made to Powtinqua 
to ascertain the truth of this report. He returned an 
evasive reply, and affected to be ignorant of any 
ground for such a rumour, except the known intention 
of the Emperor no longer to enforce the old penal 
laws against the professors of "the religion of the 
Lord of Heaven," the term employed by the Jesuits in 
former times to designate the Christian religion. 

Very soon after my arrival in Canton, however, 
more definite information on the subject was obtained 
by the transmission, from some Missionaries at Shang- 
hai, of a translation of a public Chinese document, 


which had been issued by the authorities in those 
parts. It was in the form of a memorial of Ke-Ying 
to the imperial throne, petitioning for the full tolera- 
tion of Catholic converts, and containing, also, the 
rescript of the vermilion pencil, granting the subject 
of the memorial. A translation is here subjoined of 
this important document, which, in some parts, will 
perhaps remind the reader of the celebrated epistle of 
the younger Pliny to his imperial master, Trajan. 
Scarcely 200 years had elapsed after Pliny's letter 
before the banners of the cross waved from the turrets 
of the imperial city. May a similar result follow in 
China ! 

" Ke-Ying, High Imperial Commissioner, and Governor- 
General of the ' Two Kwang,' respectfully addresses the throne 
for the purpose of presenting a memorial. He finds, on exa- 
mination, that the religion of the ' Lord of Heaven ' is that 
which all the Western nations adore and receive ; that its object 
is principally to admonish to good, and to condemn evil ; that 
therefore, from the time when it was introduced into China 
during the previous Ming dynasty, it had hitherto not been 
prohibited ; that subsequently, because some of those who 
practised the religion took advantage of that religion to do 
wickedly, even to the seducing and defiling of men's wives and 
daughters, and the using a cheat to take out the pupils of sick 
men's eyes, the Government did then search out and punish 
them, of which there is record ; that in the reign of Kea-king 
a special clause was for the first time laid down, separately pro- 
viding for the punishment thereof; and that, therefore, the 
prohibition was originally directed against those Chinese who 
made a pretext of the religion to do evil, but it was by no 
means directed at that religion worshipped and received by all the 
Western nations. Now the request of the French Commissioner, 
La Grene, regarding the point, that those Chinese who practise 
this religion, and do well, be exempted from criminality, seems 


as if it could be carried into effect. He must therefore request 
that, as regards all who hereafter learn and practise the religion 
of the Lord of Heaven, no matter whether they be Central or 
Outside people, and who do not cause disturbances or do 
wickedly, he may respectfully crave the celestial favour, per- 
mitting to and conferring on them an exemption from crimi- 
nality ; and should there be any seducing or defiling of men's 
wives and daughters, or using of craft to take out the pupils of 
sick men's eyes, or any other crimes otherwise offending the 
laws, they shall, as before, be punished according to the esta- 
blished laws. With respect to those individuals of the French 
and all other Western nations who practise the religion, let them 
accordingly be permitted to build halls for worship at the five 
ports of commercial intercourse, and they must not presume to 
enter into the interior to disseminate that religion. Should 
they act in opposition to, or turn their backs upon, the treaties, 
overstep the boundaries, and act irregularly, the local officers 
will, as soon as they seize them, forthwith send them to the 
Consuls of the several nations to restrain and punish them ; but 
death must not be inflicted on the spot, in order to evince a 
cherishing and kind disposition. Thus, peradventure, the good 
and the vile will not be intermixed, and the laws of kindness 
will manifest their equitable course. This request regarding 
those who practise the religion and do well being exempted 
from punishment, it is his duty to present to the throne in a 
respectful memorial, and he humbly craves his Imperial Ma- 
jesty graciously to assent and grant that it may be carried into 
effect. A respectful memorial." 







APRIL 5th On the day after my arrival at Canton 
I visited two American Missionaries, who had lately 
removed their Missionary establishment from Hong 
Kong, on account of the disadvantages which, after 
due experience, they found to attach to that pecu- 
liar station, and had transferred the scene of their 
operations to Canton, in the hope of finding a fairer 
scope for their exertion. Many of their friends re- 
gretted and censured this step. They now resided 
in a hong close to the foreign factories, expecting, 
at no distant period, to effect a removal more into 
the heart of the Chinese population. As they had 
only arrived two days previously, their plans were 
not yet matured. They had, however, at least 
planned their operations for the following day, the 
Sabbath, on a bold and commendable scale. At half- 


past ten o'clock A.M. they were to hold a religious 
service, and to address the Chinese at a large hall, 
called the " Ningpo Exchange," the rendezvous of the 
native merchants from Ningpo, assisted by the native 
preachers, Yong and Mun. At the same hour, Wong, 
Lei, and Hong, were to hold a similar assemblage at 
the "Chinchew Exchange," a few streets further off; 
while Luh, Yow, and Tat, were also to attend, for the 
same purpose, at a place called the Shong-kow-poo. 
My two friends accompanied me on a walk into the 
neighbouring streets, more especially directing our 
visit to the scene of their intended Missionary work 
on the next day. The Ningpo Exchange was the best 
native building that I had yet seen in Canton, and 
had a rather extended range of halls and spacious 
rooms, on which there had evidently been, in past 
times, a considerable outlay of expense ; as its elabo- 
rately-carved pillars, its richly-gilt inscriptions, the 
beauty and size of the idols, and the substantial and 
elegant nature of the ornaments and furniture gene- 
rally, served to indicate. We made a personal survey 
of the different rooms, my companions at intervals 
giving utterance to the thoughts passing through their 
minds, and the desires uppermost in their hearts. 
As we wandered from place to place, through the 
numerous courts and halls, a knot of about half-a- 
dozen officers or attendants of the institution gathered 
around us, and received some of the Christian tracts, 
which were placed in different parts of the building. 
One of my friends soon entered into conversation, 
explaining the nature of the doctrines, the object of 
our errand, and the proposed services for the next 
day. This last topic gave rise to a lengthened dis- 


cussion, during which it became apparent that they 
had been somewhat sanguine and premature in con- 
cluding that, in their previous visits, they had secured 
definite and explicit permission of the use of the 
building for the purposes contemplated by them. 
The Chinese demurred to the proposal, declaring that 
they were only stewards, and not the proprietors ; that 
the building was not designed for such objects ; and, 
in short, giving plain proof of the fear they entertained 
of being embroiled in some difficulty by connexion 
with foreigners. One of my companions endeavoured 
to allay their fears, and to prove the excellence of 
Christian doctrines, and the disinterestedness of his 
motives. My boy Afat joined with much earnestness 
in the debate, and addressed several remarks to his 
countrymen, explanatory of the objects and customs 
of foreigners. Leaving this little assemblage to rumi- 
nate on the words addressed to them, we retired to 
a higher room overlooking the court below, where we 
sat down to recruit our strength, and to discuss 
the prospects of the next day. While the Chinese 
below were engaged in discussing the strange pro- 
ceedings of the foreigners, we tried to excite our 
spirits to thankful adoration of the Triune God for 
our own participations in the blessings of the 
Gospel. We left amid the polite attentions of 
our new acquaintances, and directed our steps to a 
neighbouring street, occasionally distributing tracts, 
wherever we had reason to hope that they would re- 
ceive an attentive perusal. In one shop we remained 
for some time with the inmates, who evinced much 
interest in the books. The owner of the shop was an 
aged man, who seemed, in his advanced state of life, 



to have relinquished the care and management of his 
affairs to his nephew, a middle-aged man of pleasing 
manners and intelligence. The latter made many in- 
quiries, and listened with attention, as the principal 
doctrines of Christianity were explained to him. He 
said he had not heard for ten thousand years such 
wonderful doctrines. When the fall of man, and the 
necessity of repentance and a new heart, were insisted 
on, he eagerly inquired whether to have an idol-altar 
was a sin. In reply, he was informed that God 
had forbidden idolatry, and willed that those who 
worship Him should worship Him in spirit and 
in truth. He pointed to a little recess in a room 
above, where he could retire to pray alone. His 
heart (he said) wished to believe, but could not fully 
comprehend the doctrines. In the course of the sub- 
sequent dialogue, he said he had a son and a daughter; 
whereupon he was reminded that, according to Chinese 
principles, this was held to be a rich portion of 
blessedness. To this he assented with hesitation, 
saying that he had not much money. He was re- 
minded that the favour of God and the knowledge of 
truth were a better possession than money. To the 
application to himself of the truth of the universality 
of human depravity, he objected strongly, affirming 
that he had a good heart. After some further con- 
versation on the wickedness of sinful desires, and an 
acknowledgment of his having never repented of idol- 
worship, he at last confessed that his heart was a 
little wicked. The old uncle, some time before, had 
taken umbrage at a reference to himself, and removed 
to the other end of the apartment. He seemed, how- 
ever, to regain his composure, as at our departure he 


patiently listened to some advice personally addressed 
to him, admonishing him of his grey hairs, and bade 
us a friendly farewell. The nephew alluded to some 
previous conversation with a medical Missionary in 
Canton. On this occasion, when one of my friends stated 
the objects for which we came to China as Missionaries, 
he quickly remarked, that we must have a good deal 
of money to enable us to leave our native land and 
come to so distant a country. He was informed that 
we were not rich men, but had come thither in obe- 
dience to the command of our Lord, Go, and teach all 
nations. Here Afat again became eloquent in his 
apology for Missionaries, and explanation of their 
errand ; saying that they did not come to get money, 
but to teach the Chinese tf ancient doctrine." The 
nephew again inquired whether we were Americans or 
English. He was told that two of our number were 
Americans, and the third an Englishman ; but that, 
though belonging to different countries, we were 
closely united to each other by Christian fellowship. 
He assented, with the remark that " discipleship 
makes all nations one." We left him with an invita- 
tion to attend the service at the Ningpo Exchange 
on the next day, and to call at my friends' house, 
whenever interest or curiosity might prompt him. 

These attempts of my two friends were preparatory 
only to carrying out their plan of hiring a house, as a 
Mission Chapel and residence, in some distant part of 
the suburbs, where they hoped to pursue a bold and 
systematic course of action, and to hold religious 
meetings every evening, both outside and inside the 
city, by means of their native preachers. The result 
of such an experiment was awaited with interest" by 



the friends of the Missionary work, though there 
were not wanting those who foretold danger from the 
attempt. In particular, the Missionary brother, with 
whom I was staying, expressed great apprehensions 
of the consequences, saying that he had positive 
knowledge of the anxious suspicions of the autho- 
rities, and the dangerous malignity of the mob. He 
predicted a disturbance as sure to result from the 
attempt, and a probable hindrance and shock to the 
Missionary work generally, which it might cost many 
years of cautious action to remove. 

The sequel proved that both the sanguine hopes 
of the one party, and the cautious timidity of the 
other, were somewhat excessive. While visits might 
be made to any part of the suburbs by a Missionary 
able to speak with the people in their own tongue ; 
while conversation with them might be carried 
on at their own houses without restraint ; while 
tracts might be distributed from house to house, and 
their contents explained ; yet it was found that no 
public service of any kind could be undertaken, except 
at the Missionaries' own residence among the foreign 
factories, and consequently at a distance from the Chi- 
nese population. Individual Chinese were willing to 
come to the Missionaries for private conversation, and 
a few also to attend the newly-instituted services. 
But at the Ningpo Exchange and the other public 
localities to which allusion has been made, no public 
service could be held, beyond an irregular dialogue 
with about twenty or thirty persons, who might 
gather round the Missionary and propose questions. 
The native preachers also showed great cowardice on 
finding that Missionary topics were unpopular among 


the people, as savouring of intercourse with foreigners. 
Being men generally of limited education, and very 
little knowledge and zeal, they became easily fright- 
ened, and only ventured to give away a few tracts. As 
to their labours within the city, there was only their 
own account to receive, no foreigner being permitted 
to enter. Some time later, a house, after many 
obstacles, arising from the hesitation of the landlord, 
was rented by the two Missionaries, and was in course 
of preparation for a Chapel and residence, being 
situated at some distance from the foreign factories. 
The people of the neighbourhood soon, however, raised 
an outcry at the prospect of a " foreign demon " 
coming to reside amongst them, in defiance of Chinese 
custom ; and so serious was the disturbance, as to 
render the interference of the American Consul ne- 
cessary. At the period of one year afterwards, the 
Missionaries were still residing and carrying on their 
operations on a small scale among the foreign hongs. 
An English Missionary, also, who made the same laud- 
able attempt, met with the same serious difficulties. 
The Chinese mob broke into the house, which he 
had fitted up as a Chapel in the eastern suburbs, 
while Leang Afa was preaching, and raised a riot, 
breaking benches and stools, and throwing Afa into 
great alarm. 

A more detailed notice has been given of these 
proceedings, as showing the real nature and amount 
of facilities for public Missionary operations at Canton. 
At the present time they are reduced, by the arrogant 
lawlessness of the populace, within small limits. But, 
on the other hand, a boundless field lies before the 
Missionary labourer for preachin the Gospel from 


house to house, amid a population, of whom the 
better classes are intelligent, friendly, and inquiring ; 
and from among whom individuals may be led, by a 
discreet and respectful demeanour, to make private 
visits to the abode of Missionaries. In no part of 
the world are politeness of manner, and an attention 
to the little refinements and delicate sensibilities of 
civilized life, on the part of Missionaries, more neces- 
sary to secure the disposition of the people towards 
the all-important message which they bring. 

How far these conclusions are authorized by facts 
of daily occurrence the reader will have his own 
opportunities of judging, in the following journal of 
my intercourse with the people in the suburbs and 
in the Missionary Hospital. 

April 1th Early this morning I set out on a visit 
to the streets contiguous to the western wall of the 
city, accompanied by my boy Afat, who carried some 
books for me in a handkerchief, and acted as inter- 
preter in any difficulty which arose. Having pur- 
chased a map of the city and suburbs, depicted on 
a fan, I was enabled to lead the way with tolerable 
accuracy into the desired quarter. Afat showed many 
signs of timidity before he set out with me, saying 
that if he carried the books he should be apprehended 
by the Mandarins, and forfeit his queue, which, in the 
eye of a Chinaman, is tantamount to outlawry. Having 
reason to suspect his indolence rather than his fears, 
I was unwilling to lose his services. He followed me 
at a little distance, and assisted me in purchasing 
some articles that I needed. In a few shops which I 
visited, I distributed some of the books, reserving the 
greater part of them to be disposed of at a greater 


distance from the residence of foreigners, where Chris- 
tian publications were less likely to be known. De- 
sirous of relieving Afat from embarrassment, I took 
some tracts from him to carry myself, so as not to have 
recourse to him in any public spot. One or two Chi- 
nese approached me with an earnest request to ob- 
tain a book, which I accordingly gave. This attracted 
others ; and no sooner did I inadvertently turn to my 
boy to take from his bundle two or three tracts, than 
a crowd of outstretched hands was soon gathered 
around us, and the clamour and assemblage became 
so great, that the way was literally blocked up. With 
much difficulty I extricated myself from the rapidly- 
increasing throng, deeming it prudent to turn back 
and directing Afat to that effect, whom, as I passed, 
I beheld squeezed to the wall by the mass of eager 
applicants, and indicating by a flood of tears his sense 
of danger. The seventy tracts of large size which I 
had selected for the day's distribution were thus un- 
expectedly taken by force ; and it was to his no small 
comfort that I intimated to Afat, amid his unequivocal 
expressions of thankfulness, that I would not again 
make a similar request for his services as book-carrier. 
Though only sixteen years of age, he is a sensible lad, 
and his sympathies are evidently enlisted in favour 
of Missionaries. He acknowledges the folly of ido- 
latry, and that, too, in no very dubious terms. And 
yet, though intellectually convinced of the superiority 
of the Christian religion, the apathetic indifference to 
every thing but secular interests, so prevalent among 
the Chinese, disposes him, like many other youths 
who have been brought within the influence of the 
Missionaries, to pursue the beaten track of popular 


error, in preference to the invidious appearance of 
abandoning the customs of their ancestors. 

Returning to the Missionary Hospital, I was present 
at the admission of new patients, which usually takes 
place on this day of the week (Monday). It afforded 
me pleasure to find that a more decidedly Missionary 
character had been given to the Institution since my 
last visit to Canton in the preceding year. A number 
of Christian books were placed on a table, from which 
the patients were invited to help themselves. It was 
gratifying to perceive, even in the absence of higher 
motives, the curiosity which prompted the majority to 
take the books, and retire to different parts of the room 
to read in quietude. A Christian Almanack in Chi- 
nese, combining, with an exhibition of evangelical doc- 
trine, a general view of the statistics, sciences, geogra- 
phy, and power of Western nations, was very accepta- 
ble to them. Among other acquaintances which I here 
formed, was that of an officer in the employ of the 
Kwang-chow-foo, a native of Chin-keang-foo, in 
Keangsoo province, a city situated west of Nanking, 
and the last place taken by assault by the British army. 
He appeared to be a man of intelligence, and commu- 
nicated to me the relative geographical position of the 
principal cities in those parts, which I found to accord 
very accurately with my own map. On my hinting to 
him the pleasure I should feel in accompanying him 
from the hospital on his return into the city, he 
assented to the plan, and even pressed me to give him 
the honour of my company to his own house. This I 
regarded, in the first instance, as Chinese politeness, 
and could hardly induce myself to give him credit 
for sincerity. As, however, he was a northern man, 


and might therefore, in a measure, be free from 
the strong anti-European feeling of the south ; 
and as he was, moreover, about to depart in two 
days on his return to his native city, Dr. Parker 
agreed with me in the conclusion that he possibly 
might be sincere, and pressed me not to lose the 
opportunity of entering the city with such a protector. 
When the officer was about to leave the hospital, he 
again politely reminded me of the proposed visit with 
him, and inquired if I were willing to carry it into 
execution. We had already taken steps to secure a 
sedan-chair with bearers, in which it was arranged 
that I should follow him into the city. But when the 
plan was actually on the point of being put into prac- 
tice, he suddenly became alarmed, asking if I really 
meant to enter the city, and deprecating my placing 
him in the awkward and difficult position of being the 
first Chinese to conduct a foreigner within the walls. 
We appealed to the fairness of a foreigner entering 
the city, and to the absurdity of the prohibition ; to 
which he assented, but said that such had been the 
ancient custom, and that he could not dare to face the 
danger of a tumult. The Chinese connected with the 
hospital all agreed as to the reasonableness of free 
entrance, but asserted, with much earnestness, the 
certainty of its giving rise to a disturbance. Thus 
the matter ended, the Chinaman, amid evident confu- 
sion, stammering forth his apologies, and, after polite 
bowings, making his exit to his sedan. 

In the evening I took a walk with Dr. Parker in the 
same direction as in the morning, extending our visit 
to the Tai-ping-mun, or "Gate of Universal Peace/' 
than which name nothing could be less emblematic 


of the real character of the neighbouring populace. 
We were the object of increasing curiosity as we 
approached nearer to this spot unfrequented by 
foreigners. But as we advanced under the ancient 
gateway, and showed, by our unchecked pace, that we 
were for moving onward within the forbidden pre- 
cincts of the city, the looks of displeasure, which were 
darted toward us by the crowd, were soon exchanged 
for shouts and gestures, which told us that we should 
not be tolerated in such an act of sacrilege. Two 
or three low fellows placed themselves close to Dr. 
Parker, who went first, and, making angry demonstra- 
tions of resistance, shouted to him to stop. We re- 
mained under the gateway for about five minutes, the 
storm of popular wrath growing darker, and the assem- 
blage rapidly increasing, till we deemed it prudent, 
after surveying the remarkable old building which 
forms the gateway, to turn down a narrow street bor- 
dering on the outside of the city-wall, which furnished 
us with many objects of curiosity, and at length con- 
ducted us, at the distance of about a mile, to the 
foreign factories. 

On a subsequent occasion I passed the Tai-ping- 
mun alone ; and, wishing again to test the possibility 
of entering the city, walked on under the gateway, the 
Chinese shouting to me from either side, of which 
I took no notice. When I had reached the inner 
side of the arched gateway, a Chinese officer, whom 
I conjectured, from his ability to speak both the Man- 
darin dialect and English, to be a spy of the Man- 
darins, stationed to prevent the entrance of foreigners, 
approached me with a request not to proceed. As 
I appeared to hesitate about desisting, he put his 


band on my shoulder, and, with a good-humoured 
smile, begged me to return. I asked him why I 
might not proceed, as I was a friend. He still per- 
severed in requesting me to turn back, showing, how- 
ever, amid all his polite remonstrances, that his secret 
instructions were on no account to permit a foreigner 
to enter, and that physical resistance would be em- 
ployed, if necessary, as a last resource. He seemed 
very anxious to get me clear out of the way, speaking 
of a Mandarin-station inside the wall, which I should 
not be allowed to pass. My ultimate compliance 
seemed to relieve his mind, and I took my departure, 
after giving him a selection of tracts, which he re- 
ceived with a polite acknowledgment. The crowd, 
which had been gathering, soon relaxed their scowling 
looks as they saw me turn down the little by-street in 
the suburb. 

The British Consul afterwards informed me that the 
Chinese authorities had recently promised to issue a 
proclamation, granting free entrance into the city, and 
threatening to punish any Chinese who should ill-treat 
a foreigner in the attempt to enter. During the 
period of this visit to Canton, I ascertained that no 
such proclamation had made its appearance ; and 
that the matter was likely to continue a fruitful source 
of diplomatic altercation. 









APRIL 8th I walked about a mile through the 
suburbs, in a western direction, to a street called the 
Shap-pat-poo, to call on a Chinese gentleman named 
Yun-tang, the brother-in-law ofPowtinqua, and the 
sixth son of Le, a salt-inspector of some celebrity 
and repute. His linguist was careful to inform 
me, with due accuracy, of his master's pedigree 
and importance at the Missionary Hospital on the 
previous day, where Yun-tang gave me his card 
and address, with the invitation to visit him. On 
entering his house, I was conducted through three or 
four courts and ante-rooms to an apartment of spacious 
dimensions, which looked into a garden containing a 
little forest of shrubs and flowers, placed in rows, 
rising gradually one above another on little platforms. 


After the first ceremonials of etiquette were over, tea 
and fruit were brought, with which we paid the usual 
compliments. About twenty domestics stood in the 
outer rooms, eagerly listening and gazing on me with 
evident curiosity, as their master, the linguist, and 
myself were engaged together. Our anticipated con- 
versation on the affairs of Outward nations soon com- 
menced, by Yun-tang's inquiring whether I could 
furnish him with a diagram and explanation of the 
manner in which foreigners could weave and manu- 
facture cloth by steam-machinery ; and whether I had 
ever seen such a wonderful contrivance. I then pro- 
ceeded to dwell at some length on the multitude of 
purposes to which the steam-engine could be applied ; 
and took the opportunity of alluding to the great loss 
which the Chinese nation experienced in their isolation 
from foreign countries, especially intimating that per- 
fect friendship and cordiality could not exist till the 
foreigner should be allowed to walk at large in all 
parts of the city, and the way be opened for a reci- 
procal interchange of kind offices. The observation I 
made of the willingness of foreigners to come and teach 
them the arts and learning of Western nations drew 
forth the remark from him, that an American at Macao 
had already received instructions to build a steam- 
ship for the Chinese, and that its arrival at Canton 
was shortly expected. Yun-tang then went to the end 
of the room, and brought two volumes of a najtive work 
on astronomy, abounding with diagrams and maps of 
the stars, which he presented to me. He requested 
me to examine them, and to ascertain whether they 
were correct and agreed with our astronomical sy- 
stem ; saying, that if I would be kind enough to send 


or bring to him some book containing our system of 
the stars, he should feel himself under great obliga- 
tions, delicately hinting at the presents with which he 
would reward me. I promised to make an endeavour 
to comply with his wishes, and proceeded to illustrate 
the degree of perfection to which European science had 
advanced, by the accuracy with which our navigators, 
after sailing over ten thousand miles of ocean without 
seeing land, could ascertain the ship's position. He 
asked the name of the instrument to which I alluded, 
and subsequently inquired the price of a quadrant. 
He also mentioned that Mr. Morrison had, in former 
times, shown him the motion of the solar system, the 
globular form of the earth, and the remarkable 
fact that the people on the under side did not 
fall off. 

The statement of the objects of my Mission to 
China, and my proposed visit to the other consular 
ports, formed our next topic of conversation ; during 
which I tried to explain the motives and sanctions of the 
Gospel, the universal holiness and peace which it incul- 
cates, and the perfect happiness which it is designed to 
convey. The linguist here engaged in a long dialogue 
with Yun-tang, explaining that my objects were not 
mercantile. Afterwards he asked me whether I had 
not come to China in the same capacity as Dr. Mor- 
rison or Dr. Parker. The inquiry whether Yun-tang 
would receive, in return for his present of books, some 
pamphlets on the religion of foreigners, met with a 
ready acquiescence. He surveyed them for two or 
three minutes, and then eagerly inquired whether 
any part of the books treated of astronomy ; and 
on my replying in the negative, evinced some disap- 


pointment, till I informed him they were exclusively 
on religious subjects, and that I would send him also 
a work on the stars, which explanation seemed satis- 
factory, and he retained the books. The linguist, who 
spoke English better than the ordinary class of native 
interpreters, and in a style far removed above that 
absurd jargon denominated the Canton-English, fre- 
quently invited me to repeat my visit whenever I 
could spare time. I once rose to take my departure, 
but at their urgent request resumed my seat for a 
little while longer ; and at length left them, amid an 
unsparing display of external etiquette, which could 
not entirely dissipate the regret I felt at discovering 
in their conversation, when the linguist explained 
my remarks, that the iermfan quei (foreign demon) 
was once applied to me amid this outward show of 
respect. This, together with several similar instances, 
has led me to suspect that the force of habit, in the 
use of this opprobrious epithet, has almost deprived 
it of its literal offensiveness. 

On my return I met a priest from the large Budhist 
Monastery in Honan, who, seeing the two volumes 
presented to me by Yun-tang, requested me to give 
him one of them, thinking they were on the foreigners' 
religion. He was not satisfied, till I had allowed him 
to read the title-page of the books, that they were not 
a foreign production ; and with evident marks of 
pleasure he observed me put my hand into my pocket, 
and take thence three books similar to those which 
I had given to Yun-tang. I gave them to him, with a 
request that he would also allow his friends to read 
them, which he promised to do. 

On my return to Dr. Parker's house, I examined, 


with his assistance, the native books on astronomy, 
and found that they bore strong internal evidence 
of the European principles introduced in the 
seventeenth century by the Jesuit Missionaries. The 
diagrams, explaining the signs of the zodiac, the eclip- 
tic, the division into zones, and 180 degrees of latitude 
between each pole, proved the fact of their having 
been written with the borrowed aid of foreigners. 
The diagrams, explaining on meteorological princi- 
ples the cause of rain, appeared to be of more apocry- 
phal origin. Although mixed up with much of the 
absurdities of the Chinese principles of creation, Yin 
and Yang, the astronomy was generally correct as far 
as it went, and contained the first principles of Euro- 
pean science diluted through the work. 

We were afterwards engaged in listening to a native 
teacher, deeply versed in Chinese literature, as he 
explained to us the various little Chinese articles of 
curious device and ingenious manufacture submitted 
to him. These consisted of magnets differently 
adapted to the purposes of a mariner's compass, a 
sun-dial, and a moon-dial, separately and in combina- 
tion. They were inscribed with tables and diagrams, 
containing directions for arranging the dials and mag- 
nets for each purpose. I subsequently became pos- 
sessed of a specimen of their instruments, which, in 
the delicacy and beauty of its construction, and the in- 
genuity displayed in its adaptation to every-day use, 
would be well worthy a nation more advanced in civili- 
zation. In appearance it was a flat piece of ivory, 
small enough to be carried in the waistcoat pocket, 
and adorned with beautifully illuminated characters 
directing the mode of use. On one side, a round dial, 


inscribed with the horary characters, and having a 
gnomon in the centre, is elevated to receive the sun's 
shadow. The elevation is produced by little hinges 
from the principal piece of ivory, and is regulated ac- 
cording to the degree of the sun's declination at the 
different seasons, by means of a small pin inserted 
into different holes below. A needle, delicately 
balanced, shows the requisite position of the time- 
piece for meeting the sun's rays. The same dial is 
inscribed with the hours of the night, as well as of 
the day ; and, by means of its circular movement on a 
central pivot, it is speedily arranged so as to become 
a moon-dial, a projecting index being brought to 
meet the figures marked on another circle outside, 
which answer to the age of the moon. Possessed of 
such an instrument, a person might pursue his track 
over the untrodden desert, and also might obtain, 
with tolerable accuracy, the hour by day, and gene- 
rally by night. The ingenuity of the Chinese, in 
turning to the best account their limited knowledge 
of the physical sciences, is very remarkable, and 
excites a feeling of wonder, that, with such ready 
powers of applying it to every- day life, they never- 
theless have remained so long stationary in know- 
ledge ; especially when it is remembered that some 
of the most important of modern discoveries, which 
have effected such social changes in the West, were 
known many ages previously among the Chinese. 
The teacher, in reply to my question, hastily asserted 
that the knowledge of the magnet existed in China 
5000 years ago. On my further inquiry, he stated 
the discovery to have been cotemporaneous with the 
Chow dynasty ; i. e. a few centuries before the Chris- 


tian aera, a period somewhat more modern than his 
first assertion. 

It often excites surprise that the native teachers 
who are brought into connexion with foreign students, 
and who enjoy a fair reputation for knowledge and 
learning amongst their countrymen, are nevertheless 
so marvellously ignorant in all matters of geography, 
history, and physical science. The reason of this is 
to be found in the fact, that the mind of China is 
diverted into other channels of knowledge, often ab- 
struse, and more frequently puerile. Amid the poverty 
of their physical sciences, it is evident that a large 
amount of talent is continually employed in the meta- 
physical system of the Chinese, which rests on the base 
of imaginative theory, destitute of reality and truth ; 
and those powers of mind, which, under more favour- 
able circumstances, might have grasped the sublimest 
objects, and pursued the most noble investigations, 
with profit and success, are frittered away and wasted 
on a system of puerile absurdity. Thus the misem- 
ployed mind of China is building up a pyramid of 
error, which it has cost ages to erect, and may require 
ages to demolish, opposing great obstacles in the way 
of a moral revolution in favour of Christian truth. 

The native work on astronomy, given me by Yun- 
tang, I afterwards found to have been written about 
twenty -four years ago by a Chinese scholar, the friend 
of Gnun tsung-tuh, who presided over the two Kwang 
provinces, Kwang-tung (or Canton) and Kwang-se, 
about ten years ago, and at whose instigation the 
work had been written. 

April Qth In the course of my rambles in the 
suburbs, I landed from my boat at the Tai-ma-toir, 


about two miles below the foreign factories, and on 
the north bank of the river. It was difficult to feel 
quite secure from bodily assault amid the crowds 
who would sometimes follow, shouting, on every side, 
fan-qmi-lo (foreign demon) with astonishing perse- 
verance. Once or twice only has this popular ill- 
feeling been manifested in any thing beyond words, 
when I received a smart jerk from the elbow of some 
low fellows while passing through a crowd, which 
would pretty well conceal the individual offenders. 
In these distant parts of the southern suburb, abutting 
on the river, I passed through a number of by-lanes, 
which at last brought me to the Execution-ground, 
near the principal southern gate of the city. Here 
the stern majesty of Chinese law is vindicated in the 
blood of the transgressor. Here the convicted crimi- 
nal undergoes the last penalty of capital crime ; and, 
kneeling towards the imperial city of the north, dies 
in the attitude of adoration of paternal rule. About 
twenty bare skulls were lying on one side of this alley, 
while others were secured in earthenware urns, the 
odour of which was equally offensive with the sight. 
This Aceldama was literally a potter's field, as well 
as a field of blood ; being used as a ground for dry- 
ing earthern pots, which were lying about in every 
direction, covered with matting to protect them from 
the elements. No executions had taken place for a 
month ; though they sometimes amount to twenty or 
thirty at one time. As I was standing on the very 
spot where the head of the malefactor is severed at 
one blow from the body, and the lifeless corpse is 
made to attest the rigorous severity of justice, a few 
Chinese gathered round me, and I had an opportunity 



of distributing some tracts, without the interruption 
of a crowd. The people of this district have gained a 
bad character for turbulence ; but, on this occasion, 
were very quiet and peaceable. 

Later in the evening, I accompanied a Missionary 
brother on a visit to the celebrated " temple of lon- 
gevity," situated about a mile and a half to the north- 
west of the foreign factories in the western suburb. 
We arrived at the time of celebration of evening ser- 
vice, and remained surveying the scene from with- 
out the door. About 100 or 150 priests reside in this 
Budhist monastery, seventy of whom were attending 
on this occasion in the principal temple. A great part 
of their ceremonies consisted in standing with joined 
palms, chanting, in a low, indistinct voice, the Palee 
sounds in praise of Budh, accompanied with gongs, 
drums, and bells. Sometimes they knelt, and at other 
times they walked in procession, beating time to a 
strange kind of tune, around the temple ; at a corner 
of which a priest was standing, giving to the other 
priests, as they passed, a check or tally a piece of 
wood inscribed with the Chinese character for " lon- 
gevity," to attest the presence of the individual accord- 
ing to stated rule. A few of the priests, seeing we had 
some books, left the procession, sought and obtained 
a copy, and then returned to join in the supersti- 
tions, reserving the book for subsequent perusal. The 
commendation bestowed by these priests on Christian 
doctrines is generally to the effect that they are very 
good for us, but not necessary for them : that Chris- 
tianity may be the best religion for foreigners, but 
Budhism is best for themselves. 

We ascended to the top of the temple, from which 


there is a good view of the city inside the walls, with 
its two lofty pagodas, rising from amidst the rich and 
luxuriant foliage of the trees interspersed below- 
The generality of the priests were men of fierce and 
unprepossessing aspect. We found one poor fellow 
in this lofty retreat, alone and unconscious of our 
presence, bowing his head and paying silent adoration 
before a large idol, and apparently spell-bound under 
the influence of superstitious awe. We passed through 
the numerous courts and lesser temples, which con- 
stitute this extensive and important establishment, 
with the humble hope and prayer, that the message of 
salvation and the clear statement of Christian truth, 
contained in the books this evening distributed among 
the numerous body of priests, might receive the pro- 
mised blessing from on high, not going forth in 
vain. I observed a rosary suspended from the neck 
of some of the priests. What a characteristic simi- 
larity, even in some of its most detailed particulars, 
between pagan idolatry and a corrupt form of Chris- 
tianity ! 

April llth I accompanied some friends on a visit 
to the gardens of the celebrated Powtinqua, in a boat 
which he sent for our use, with one of his attendants 
to act as our guide. After proceeding about three 
miles in a north-west direction, we left the broad 
river, and sailed up a canal on our right for a few fur- 
longs, to a summer-house, at which we disembarked. 
On entering the gardens, we proceeded to inspect the 
various attractions, passing over a number of bridges, 
which intersect in different parts the continuation of 
small lakes, of which this retreat is principally formed. 
These were not calculated, in their present shallow, 


muddy state, to add any beauty to the scene ; but 
later in the year, especially in the month of June, they 
are well filled with water, and abound with lotuses, 
forming a beautiful carpet-like expanse of vegetation. 
In different parts of the grounds were little summer- 
retreats, with furniture and decorations suited to the 
affluent condition of the proprietor. Splendid tablets, 
with large inscriptions, informed the visitor of the 
persons of rank and influence with whom the owner 
of these domains had contracted, by due forms, a com- 
pact of friendship. Of these writings, one contained 
the united names and emblems of Ke-Ying and Pow- 
tinqua. In these little buildings the common events 
of the interior of Chinese families were represented 
by some well-executed images, performing various 
ridiculous scenes, in which the ladies were the prin- 
cipal actors. In other parts there were little curiosi- 
ties, apparently the gift of some foreign visitor ; and 
among these, a model of a steam-boat with engine 
and paddles, easily worked for the purpose of 
explanation. Near this spot, a public notice, in 
tolerably correct English, informed us that the liberal 
proprietor wished his foreign friends to give no 
douceur to any of the attendants ; but intimated the 
pleasure with which he would receive any present 
of European manufacture, as a memorial of their 
visit. Gold and silver pheasants, mandarin-ducks, 
storks, peacocks, some deer, and other animals of 
rarity or beauty, were placed in cages along the 
raised walks, which led around and across the 
lakes. Beautiful trees, shrubs, and parterres of 
flowers, added their portion of variety and interest ; 
while, again, lofty platforms, surmounting the roofs of 


the numerous summer-houses, afforded a prospect into 
the neighbouring localities. On one of the latter 
eminences I was joined by three Chinese, who told me 
they had come hither, in compliance with annual 
custom, to perform the usual rites at the tomb of their 
grandfather, buried in an adjacent field. We re- 
turned from our trip by a different route, to avoid the 
force of the unfavourable tide, passing for two or three 
miles through canals, on either bank of which little 
boarded huts were crowded together on rude piles 
extending into the water. The motley tenants of 
these substitutes for houses, which formed to myriads 
of industrious people 'their only shelter from the ele- 
ments, assembled in groups as we passed along, to 
catch a glimpse of the lady of our party, whom they 
saluted with long-continued greetings offan-quei-moo, 
"foreign devil woman." As we emerged from the 
canal into a wider part of the river, and threaded our 
way among the lanes of boats of all sizes and forms, 
peopled by the average population of many a Euro- 
pean city, the general excitement and curiosity were 
manifested in shouts from the congregated thousands. 
Mothers ran forth with their infant offspring in their 
arms, shouting the offensive epithet, and holding them 
forward to gaze on the novel wonder of a barbarian 
woman. As the British troops had landed at these 
parts, after capturing and destroying the adjacent forts, 
and this portion of the suburbs had suffered severely 
in the war, we had reason to be thankful that curiosity, 
rather than malignity, was manifested in the reception 
with which we were greeted. 

We soon after landed at a spacious mansion belong- 
ing to the son and heir of the celebrated Howqua. 


The son inherits many of the good qualities of his 
father. Among other instances of his liberality and 
benevolence may be mentioned the fact of his still 
continuing the grant of the Missionary Hospital free 
of all rent, so nobly made, in the first instance, by old 
Howqua. The mansion extended close down to the 
water's edge, from which we passed upwards by a 
flight of stone stairs. It formed the suburb-dwelling 
of young Howqua, where one of his wives was domi- 
ciled. The interior arrangements of this splended 
dwelling, and the number of domestics, we found to 
be on a scale of great wealth and luxury. It had 
been rebuilt since the late war. The roof of the 
first story afforded a spacious terrace, laid out in 
flower-beds and walks, communicating with the apart- 
ments of the lady of the house. The lady of our 
party was immediately conducted to a large room 
above, where she was for some time engaged in the 
interchange of salutations with the Chinese lady, amid 
a company of attendants. On our departure, the Chi- 
nese lady, whom the scale of surrounding luxury 
pointed out as a favourite of her husband, watched us 
from above, a female attendant standing before to 
screen her from view, though at times she advanced, 
tittering and smiling, to catch a free gaze on the 
foreigners. These poor women are at present al- 
most placed beyond the possibility of Christian in- 
struction. No Missionary lady is as yet sufficiently 
versed in the language to be able to place before 
their minds, at the present stage of our intercourse, 
the truths of revelation. The defective education of 
females in China leaves their understanding untu- 
tored and unfurnished with knowledge ; and in very 


few cases are they able to read the Christian books, 
which their own sex among the Missionary body 
might possess opportunities of presenting to them. 

April 13th On this day the western suburbs were 
the scene of much tumult and confusion from a pro- 
cession, which visited the various streets in succession, 
bearing abroad the idols of one of the temples on this 
the annual festival. The honours of the occasion were 
paid to the idol Shing-kea, this being his birth-day, 
when, according to annual custom, he is taken out for 
an airing in great pomp. The procession was very 
long, and took eighteen minutes in passing. It con- 
sisted of pipers, with drums and gongs at certain inter- 
vals, and numerous bearers of the insignia and gaudy 
ornaments of the temple. In different parts, boys and 
girls were seated on horseback, dressed out in most 
grotesque and fantastic garb. At intervals, some pro- 
stitutes, with painted faces, were seated on a portable 
platform. Little bands of children, with juvenile musi- 
cians, varied the scene ; and persons with mandarin- 
caps and other badges of office followed. The flags and 
banners were in some parts very beautiful and costly, 
and were inscribed with various devices ; e.<jr."The esta- 
blished supreme ruler of heaven," and other laudatory 
titles in honour of the idol. As this anniversary jubilee 
was the occasion of a general purgation of the temple, all 
the sacred furniture was carried in procession, having 
been polished for the purpose. The sooty smoke, which 
had accumulated around the idols from the burning of 
incense during the year, was carefully removed, and 
the god came forth on this festive day in the freshness 
and brightness of renovated youth. At length, after 
the musicians, the equestrians, the women, the gaily- 


wrought banners, the maces of office, and the man- 
darin-attendants had passed onward, the large square 
glass temples in miniature, which contained the sacred 
emblems of deity, were carried along amid the laugh- 
ing and shouting of the collected mob. Two idols, 
about six inches in height, surrounded on either side 
by a number of lesser idols, sat enthroned within the 
first two glass cases. In the last only one principal 
idol was to be seen. In our evening walk we were on 
two or three occasions unfortunate in crossing the 
course of the procession, thus meeting an obstruction 
to our intended excursion. In some of the streets the 
more wealthy shopkeepers had a feast regularly set 
out, consisting of fruits, cakes, and a large roasted pig 
in the centre. A mirror was suspended at the ex- 
tremity, with the inscription of the characters, Shing- 
kea. As the procession passed, curiosity was at its 
height; but never was there an appearance of any 
thing like reverence or awe. A few men, dressed out 
in the peculiarly ugly accoutrements of public exe- 
cutioners, preceded each group of idols, probably as 
a symbol of the vindictive power of the supposed 
divinities over the objects of their wrath. The ex- 
penses are levied on the streets through which the 
idols are borne, the shopkeepers subscribing towards 
reimbursing the public companies, who provide, for 
hire, the gaudy decorations which are intended to 
grace the occasion. Along the whole series of 
streets, fragrant sticks of incense were lighted on 
the little household altars in honour of the passing 

A sufficient number of daily incidents will have 
been noted down to convey a tolerably correct idea of 


the real character and extent of the Missionary field 
existing at Canton. At the present time, the Missionary 
Hospital is the most hopeful agency for effecting good 
on an extensive scale, by disposing the minds of rulers 
and people more favourably towards foreign teachers. 
Although a mighty change for the better has been 
brought about in the improved tone and bearing of 
the native authorities since the British treaty of peace ; 
yet serious obstacles to public Missionary labours and 
extensive Missionary success must still exist, till the 
current of popular feeling shall have taken a more fa- 
vourable turn. It will hereafter be seen how complete 
a contrast is presented to the turbulent hostility of the 
local populace of Canton, in the more favourable op- 
portunities of intercourse, and the respectful friendly 
demeanour of the people, in the northern ports of 
China. Without anticipating the order of events, 
further comparison cannot now be instituted. 





I LEFT Canton on April 16th, and, after a voyage of 
two days, arrived at Hong Kong on the 18th. Here 
I had to remain for a longer period than I wished, on 
account of the difficulty of procuring a vessel to the 
northern ports. The increased delay was, however, 
amply compensated by my havifig thereby the oppor- 
tunity of forming the valuable acquaintance and 
friendship of Dr. Boone, who about this time returned 
to China from the United States of America, where 
he had been recently consecrated the first Bishop of 
the American Protestant Episcopal Church in China. 
He arrived in the latter end of April, witli his family, 
and with two married clergymen, and some ladies 
attached to the educational institutions contemplated 
in his Mission. Dr. Boone originally went to Batavia 
as a Missionary in 1837, and subsequently removed to 


Amoy in 1842, from which Station ill health compelled 
his return to his native land for a change of climate. 
The appointment of foreign Missionary Bishops is a 
recent measure of the American Episcopal Church, 
which, at the last general or triennial convention in 
1844, attended by a representation of the clergy and 
laity of each diocese, decided on the appointment of 
three Missionary Bishops, one of whom was conse- 
crated for China. Although the American Episco- 
pal Church professes to carry on its Missions as a 
Church, yet the direction of the Missions practically 
devolves upon a Committee almost as independent 
as that of the Church Missionary Society. The 
Bishop is one of its paid Missionaries, with a sti- 
pend of 1500 dollars a year. The directing Board 
of Missions is composed of thirty elected members, 
lay and clerical, with the Bishops as ex-officio mem- 
bers. The measure of consecrating a Bishop specially 
for China was adopted after correspondence with the 
Archbishop of Canterbury. Bishop Boone had aban- 
doned the intention of returning to his former Station 
at Amoy, on account of the unhealthiness of the cli- 
mate, the difficulty of the dialect, and the number of 
Protestant Missionaries already settled at that port. 
In accordance with the expressed preference of the 
directing Committee of Missions, he determined on 
consolidating his Mission at Shanghai ; the difficulty 
of acquiring an entirely new dialect being counterba- 
lanced, in his estimation, by the greater advantages of 
this Missionary Station. On account of the scantiness 
of information respecting the other northern cities, we 
had projected a visit in company to the various ports 
along the coast. This plan we were unable to carry 


into practice, from the great difficulty of obtaining a 
passage in any European vessel. The extreme per- 
sonal risk and hazard of proceeding to these ports 
in a Chinese junk, among a native crew of strangers, 
did not seem to be warranted by the hope of any cor- 
responding advantages to the Missionary work from 
an immediate visit. After waiting another month, we 
availed ourselves of an opportunity of proceeding to 
Shanghai together. 

Accordingly, on May 25th, 1845, we embarked on 
board a British schooner, bound from Hong Kong to 
Shanghai, accompanied by Mrs. Boone, her little boy, 
and two other ladies connected with the Mission. 
Our ship's company consisted of the captain (who had 
his wife on board), two mates, four English sailors, six- 
teen Lascars, chiefly from Bombay, and a Negro from 
the Mozambique Channel. Besides these was the 
steward, a native of Madras, and a bigoted Maho- 
medan ; the Bishop's servant, a native of Batavia, of 
mixed Chinese and Malay descent ; and a Chinese 
boy, a native of Ningpo, whom I took as my servant, 
partly to gain an acquaintance with the Ningpo dia- 
lect, and also to carry him back to his home after 
two years' absence. Thus every quarter of the globe 
contributed its quota to the diversity of dialect and 
colour which, together with the diversity of our reli- 
gious belief, characterized our assemblage. Weigh- 
ing anchor, we slowly passed out of the harbour of 
Victoria with a north wind, which obliged us frequently 
to tack, till at length, after our emerging through the 
Limun passage into a more open part of the sea, it 
subsided into a calm, and we came to anchor on the 
eastern side of the island of Hong Kong, within a mile 


of the small island of Tamtoo. The next morning we 
again weighed anchor, but were compelled to take a 
south-east course, and soon anchored off a little island 
a few miles south of Hong Kong. For four or five 
days we had calms and light head-winds, which lasted 
nearly the whole voyage. The heat was intense, the 
thermometer being 95 degrees in our close cabin ; and 
my suffering in the head was so acute, as to leave me at 
last almost in a state of insensibility from debility and 
fever. We continued within sight of the shore nearly 
the whole of the first ten days, by which time we were 
off the island of Namoa. Here some of the numerous 
fishing-boats visited our ship. One of them came 
alongside, and very cleverly decoyed off a shoal of 
fish, that were sporting around the vessel, by means of 
some artificial fish made of tin, drawn after their boat 
by a line attached to its stern ; one of the fishermen 
striking or rather fanning the water with a light mat 
of rushes. The whole shoal followed the decoy-fish, 
and after they had proceeded about 200 yards, the 
nets were lowered from two boats, and the crew of a 
third boat drew up the fish that were inclosed. They 
then returned, and sold us a portion of the prize justly 
due to their skill. As we sailed along the coast of 
Fokeen, the same good-humoured race of people was 
to be seen at a short distance plying their vocation on 
the deep. In every direction, as we surveyed the nu- 
merous crews through the telescope, we saw the same 
good nature and laughing countenances as they watched 
our approach, and sometimes extended their hands 
in salutations. The Chinese in one boat which ap- 
proached us threw three large fish into the ship, and 
on our inquiring the price they said they wanted rice. 


However, before it could be procured, they let go the 
rope which was thrown to them from our vessel, and 
with good-humoured looks conveyed to us the intima- 
tion that they meant to make us a present of them. 
As we approached Chapel Island, and the bay which 
leads to Amoy, we had boisterous weather for three 
days, during one night of which it blew a gale, so that 
we could only beat about from side to side in the For- 
mosa Channel. At one time we were about to anchor 
in a bay to the north of Quemoy Island, in a small 
roadstead, where two junks had already taken refuge ; 
but the breakers indicating the vicinity of a dangerous 
sand, our captain preferred again directing our course 
into the mid-channel till daylight. At length we got 
a strong south-west breeze for above twelve hours, 
which, though gradually dying off, set us onward in 
our course ; and, after many delays, we sighted the 
Chusan group of islands, a numerous cluster of 
granite rocks rising in steep acclivities from the 
sea, and entirely destitute of vegetation. Here and 
there we could descry some fisherman's temporary 
abode, piled up on a rugged headland : but the 
whole aspect might well, in by-gone ages, have com- 
bined with the exclusive character of the people to 
banish from this iron-bound coast the adventurous 
wanderer from foreign climes. The rich island of 
Chusan itself lay to the west, and we could only catch 
a distant glimpse of its range of hills. On June llth 
we anchored near the Two Brothers, and the next 
day endeavoured to make a short passage through 
some imperfectly-explored islets, which from an error 
in the chart we found it impossible to navigate with- 
out much danger, so that this and the next day were 


lost. On the 13th and 14th we were tacking about 
near Gutzlaff's Island, at the entrance of the Yang- 
tze-keang, lying at anchor during the night ; and on 
the 15th we were within this noble river, which, as 
the grand central artery of inland intercourse, diffuses 
the wealth of commerce, by means of its tributary 
streams and canals, to the most distant extremities of 
the Chinese empire. Scarcely a junk was to be seen 
sailing towards the south ; while towards the northern 
outlet we beheld numerous heavy junks, apparently 
bound for Shantung and the more northern provinces. 
Our hearts were rejoiced at the prospect of a speedy 
termination to our voyage, which to myself had been 
a time of almost unceasing pain and sickness. The 
society of our Missionary friends had been very agree- 
able ; and, by the obliging kindness of the captain, we 
had a Sunday service and family devotions every 
evening on board. As we passed along the low banks 
of the river at two or three miles' distance, covered 
with low trees, the solemn realities of the difficult 
work in which we were to be engaged presented 
themselves to our minds, and we found relief in the 
encouraging promises of God's word. Our little com- 
pany joined in singing Bishop Heber's Missionary 
Hymn, which persons in our situation could feel in its 
peculiar pathos and power. After many difficulties 
arising from the shallowness of the water, and many 
risks of running aground long before we could see 
the land, we were mercifully brought in safety through 
the beds of sand ; and at last, to our unspeakable de- 
light, we entered the mouth of the Woosung River, 
and dropt anchor among a little fleet of opium vessels. 
A number of native boats quickly came around us, and 



my Chinese boy essayed his conversational powers 
with the boatmen, fruitmen, and others, and was not a 
little disconcerted to find that " he was not even five 
parts (out of ten) understood by them." We soon 
discovered (what we were in some measure prepared 
to expect) that the vulgar dialect was very dissimilar 
from the mandarin dialect, and resembled, in this 
respect, the general character of every local dialect 
in China, which is a mere patois, unintelligible even 
in the distant parts of the same province. The next 
morning we surveyed the place more minutely, and 
discovered a long mud battery, which also served 
the purpose of an embankment, running along the 
northern shore, near to which we anchored. Within 
range of the Chinese forts, and within gun-shot sound of 
a Mandarin-station, were six foreign vessels lying se- 
curely at anchor, engaged in a contraband traffic, de- 
structive to the morality and injurious to the resources 
of the country ; and yet no effort of any kind was made 
by these officials to check the evil. It is difficult to 
conceive that the government officers are not either 
willing to reap the profits of bribery for connivance ; 
or, being raised above such an influence of corruption, 
are convinced of the futility of resisting the importa- 
tion of a drug, which panders to the sensuality of the 
Chinese and to the avarice of the foreigner. 

Our own vessel, though not engaged in the opium 
traffic, carried 750 chests of opium as a part of her 
freight, which were discharged on board one of the 
receiving-ships stationed at Woosung. My Chinese 
boy more than once on the voyage asked me whether 
I knew there was opium on board, and what I should 
say in reply to the- Chinese, if, after hearing me speak 


to them about Yay-soo taou le, " Jesus' doctrines/' they 
should ask why I had come in a ship that brought 
opium, of which so many of his countrymen ate and 
perished. We went on board the receiving-ship, and 
saw the process of preparing the inspissated juice of 
the opium for test, previous to purchase. On opening 
the chests, and clearing away- a number of dry poppy- 
leaves, an oblong dry cake, of a brown colour, was 
taken out, weighing four or five pounds. In the 
boxes of opium made up by the East-India Company 
greater care is taken. The balls are more round, 
and are placed in partitions ; each box containing 
forty, and being, moreover, carefully cased in hides. 
The bargain is soon struck with the Chinese broker, 
who incurs the risk of purchasing for the more opu- 
lent Chinese opium-merchants at Shanghai and in 
the neighbourhood. A piece of opium is taken as a 
sample from three separate balls, and prepared in 
three separate pots for smoking, to test its freedom 
from adulteration. This process took nearly half-an- 
hour, during which the opium was mixed with water, 
and, after simmering and straining, was kept boiling, 
till, by evaporation, it was reduced to a thick consis- 
tency, like treacle. Each box is sold for nearly 200/. ; 
and we saw about 1500 taels of Sycee silver in large 
lumps, of the shape of a shoe, weighed out and paid 
into the iron chest of the ship. Shroffs from Canton 
province were engaged in minutely examining each 
piece of silver previous to its reception. Shroffs, 
opium-dealers, interpreters, and native accountants 
were closely standing together in different parts of 
the deck, which wore a busy and painfully animated 
appearance. A Fokeen opium-dealer, on ascertaining 



the bishop's knowledge of his dialect, began shaking 
him by the hand, and wanted to give him a gratuitous 
passage to Shanghai, in his smuggling boat, which he 
declined. As the neatly-packed cases of the East- 
India Company were opened to discharge their con- 
tents, the impression was deepened in our minds that, 
in arguing against the question of opium-smuggling 
with those who will not rise to the Christian view of 
the subject, we have little prospect of success, till the 
East-India Company consent to abandon the monopoly 
of the growth of the poppy, and our Government 
show the example of sacrificing the gains of the 
opium-revenue on the altar of Christianity. 

About ten o'clock A.M. of the 16th we passed along 
the point of the river where the village of Woosung 
is situated, but had not proceeded more than a mile 
before we were again compelled to drop anchor ; 
and the contrary wind, added to the strength of the 
ebb-tide, left us no hope of reaching Shanghai, twelve 
miles distant, till the next day. The bishop and 
myself therefore determined on leaving the ladies of 
our party, and procuring chairs, if possible, to take us 
overland from Woosung to Shanghai, about nine miles. 
Accordingly, we soon reached the village in a Chinese 
fishing-boat, and, landing amid a crowd of Chinese 
idlers, ascended the flight of steps winch led to the 
village-street above. The houses were of most primi- 
tive construction, many of them being built on piles, 
overhanging the water, and indicating the lowest class 
of inhabitants. A petty officer who belonged to the 
village soon began a parley with the boatman, who 
was our guide. The latter explained our object and 
wishes, stating that we were come from the ship lying 


at anchor, and wanted to save time by proceeding 
overland in chairs to the city. The functionary was 
peculiarly bland and courteous in his manners, 
assented to the reasonableness of our object, and, 
bowing to us, disappeared in a hurried manner, 
leaving on our minds the impression that he was 
gone to report to his superior. We sat down under 
a kind of public tea-tavern, where the villagers, old 
and young, were assembled, smoking tobacco over 
their tea, and indulging in eager colloquy over their 
cups. Our arrival increased the number ; and the 
adjustment of the sum to be paid for our conveyance 
was a theme of good-humoured excitement, during 
which we threatened to return to the ship if they did 
not accede to the sum proposed. We soon, however, 
came to terms. Two bamboo chairs were put in order, 
with a slender screen above and on the sides, to protect 
us from the rays of the sun. Long poles were duly 
affixed on either side ; and, borne on the shoulders of 
two coolies each, with two others to relieve in turn, 
we set out from the other side of the stream, which at 
this point flows into the Woosung river. The bishop 
led the way, and I followed, within sound of each 
other's voice. Our course lay over a continuation of 
winding paths, rice-fields, green lanes, cotton-fields, 
canals, bridges, and little rural homesteads, for three 
hours. Our bearers were most garrulous, and were 
laughing and jesting the whole way, in spite of their 
fatigue. Once or twice we got out to walk where the 
path was dangerous and unsafe for our burden. The 
whole country bore the marks of rich fertility and 
cultivation ; and the peasantry, male and female, 
whom we passed working in the fields, seemed to 


be a peaceable and orderly class. The women 
who were working in the fields were almost univer- 
sally cramped in their feet, and were' very anxious 
to catch a passing glimpse of us as we crossed 
their path. Several buffaloes were working at the 
plough or harrow, and one we observed turning a 
wheel, which pumped up a stream of water from the 
canal below to irrigate the fields. None of the houses 
indicated the condition of the inmates as possessing 
more than the substantial necessaries of life ; while, 
on the other hand, no marks of abject poverty were 
discernible. Our bearers stopped at a small tea- 
tavern on our way, where we all refreshed ourselves 
with tea, and cakes made from pulse. Some of the 
bridges were so narrow, and the turnings so abrupt, 
that we sometimes were in hazard of being whirled 
from our frail sedans into the water, nearly twenty feet 
below. At length, when about two miles from the city, 
we entered a village, where we .embarked on board a 
boat, and, proceeding down a canal, emerged into the 
broad river again, and soon sailed along the northern 
bank, where the new foreign houses were in course of 
erection for the merchants. Landing at one of the 
principal flights of stone steps, we again entered our 
chairs, and were borne nearly two miles in a southern 
direction through the city to the residence of an 
English Missionary, Dr. Lockhart, who kindly re- 
ceived me as his guest. Here I found my dear 
brother M'Clatchie domiciled, who received me 
with warm and affectionate kindness. The evening 
was spent in visiting Mr. Medhurst's family, with 
whom the bishop found a temporary home till a house 
could be procured for his family, who arrived the 


following day. As we passed along the narrow streets 
in our sedans, on our arrival at the city, and during 
our subsequent walk in the evening, I could not fail 
to contrast the respect and immunity from annoyance 
here ceded to foreigners, with the arrogant pride still 
predominant among the Canton populace in the south. 
The ladies of our party walked with us through the 
streets, with no other annoyance than the curious 
gaze of the by-standers, who seldom failed to restrain 
their curiosity within the bounds of the strictest pro- 
priety and civility. 






THE city of Shanghai is a keen or district-city com- 
prised within the department of Sun-keang-foo. Like 
most Chinese cities, its exterior appearance is not cal- 
culated to impress the approaching traveller with the 
wealth or grandeur of the place. Nor does a personal 
visit to its narrow streets or lanes, abounding with 
filth, remove the unfavourable impression from a Euro- 
pean visitor. The city itself is surrounded by a wall, 
about three miles in circuit, through which six gates 
open into the surrounding suburbs. Four of these 
open into the vicinity of the river, where most of the 
mercantile houses are situated. A canal about twenty 
feet across surrounds the city outside the wall. Three 
canals lead from the river (which is here about a 
quarter of a mile broad) in a transverse direction 
through the heart of the city, from which there are 


several other lesser dykes branching off. The surround- 
ing country is one continued flat, extending many 
miles, and intersected by numerous little rivers and 
canals, which effectually drain the soil, while in seasons 
of drought they afford the means of irrigation. The 
nearest hills lie in a north-west direction, at a distance 
of thirty miles. The highest is said to be 1000 feet 
above the level of the sea, and to command a 
variety of romantic scenery from its summit, which 
is partially inhabited, and has some temples. The 
climate of Shanghai is salubrious, and the neigh- 
bourhood is richly cultivated. Vegetables and fruits 
of various kinds are supplied in gradual succession 
during the whole year. The temperature, however, 
is subject to extreme changes, the thermometer rising 
above a hundred degrees in the hot season, and falling 
as low as twenty-four degrees in the winter. The 
character of the population is peaceable and indus- 
trious. They are friendly and respectful to foreigners ; 
though a mercenary and avaricious spirit seems likely 
to infect them in their dealings with Europeans, whose 
fancied wealth they deem a legitimate source of un- 
scrupulous gain to themselves. The wants of the 
people are few and simple, and therefore easily sup- 
plied. The principal food, even of the more affluent, 
is rice, the ravages of luxury not yet having supplanted 
the simple demands of nature. A great portion of the 
city adjacent to the western gate consists of a succes- 
sion of gardens, extending two or three furlongs inside 
the city wall. The opposite side of the river consists 
of fields, as yet unoccupied by buildings. A line of 
river-frontage, extending half a mile, and occupying a 
part of the suburbs on the north-east side of the city, 
from which it is distant a quarter of a mile, has been 


granted as building sites for the foreign merchants. The 
situation is good, the air salubrious, and the locality 
convenient for the shipping. Shanghai is situated in 
latitude 31 24' N. and in longitude 121 32' E., on the 
bank of the Woosung river, at the point of its con- 
fluence with the Hwang-poo, and is distant about 
twelve miles from the Yang-tze-keang. The popula- 
tion may be estimated at two hundred thousand. 

The commercial importance of Shanghai can hardly 
be over-rated. As an entrepot for the commerce of 
Shan-tung and Tartary on the north as the out- 
port of all the central provinces of the empire as the 
grand emporium for the trade of Fokeen and Formosa 
from the south as the port and usual point of 
access to Soo-chow-foo, the metropolis of fashion and 
native literature as a rendezvous for the trade of 
the Yang-tze-keang and Grand Canal, the main 
arteries of inland commerce as connected with nu- 
merous neighbouring mercantile cities by the canals 
which divide the surface of the country and as the 
grand emporium for the European and American 
trade in the north of China it assumes an importance 
of which its local size and limited population 
would seem at first glance to divest it. The staple 
production of the neighbourhood, which is prin- 
cipally agricultural, is cotton, the manufacture of 
which furnishes the occupation of weaving to large 
numbers of the inhabitants. Rice and wheat are also 
extensively cultivated. There is a large export of 
tea, principally from Hoo-choo in Chekeang, 100 miles 
distant : also of silk from Hwui-chow in Gnan-hwui, 
and other places, 300 miles in the interior. Added to 
which, the fact of Europeans being able to purchase 
tea, silks, and other native commodities ten per cent. 



cheaper at Shanghai than at Canton, from the diminu- 
tion to the Chinese merchant of transit expenses, seems 
likely to divert no inconsiderable portion of the 
foreign trade from the southern commercial capital to 
this rapidly-increasing emporium of the north. 

The chief local magistrate is the taou-tai, who is 
the governor of two/00 and one chow, having altogether 
twenty-two ching or walled cities under his jurisdic- 
tion. The second Mandarin in importance is the 
hai-fang, or director of maritime affairs, who assumes 
the local government in the absence of the taou-tai. Of 
the subordinate Mandarins, the principal is the che-heen, 
who is at the head of the police department, and pos- 
sesses more circumscribed limits of authority. Shang- 
hai is situated in the province of Keang-soo, which, 
together with the province of Gnan-hwui, is included 
under the term Keang-nan, of which the chief city is 
Nanking. Keang-nan, together with the province of 
Keang-se, forms the government of the same tsung- 
tuh, or governor-general, the united provinces being 
comprised in the designation of the Leang-Keang, or 
" the Two Keang." The taou-tai enjoys the reputation, 
among the consular officials, of being a man of honour, 
integrity, and kind feelings. The residence of the 
British Consul within the city, and the occasional inter- 
change of visits, seem to have produced a mutual good 
understanding. The city suffered little, if any, damage 
during the disasters of the late war. It was captured 
by the British troops, but there was no destruction of 
property or life to any considerable extent. The 
most of the injury sustained was effected by the native 
rabble in their eagerness for plunder. Consequently 
there is but little exasperation of feeling, or disaffec- 
tion to the British on that account. The odious epithet, 


" quei tze" (demon) was at first occasionally applied 
to foreigners ; but the Chinese authorities promptly 
discouraged the practice by a public notice, threaten- 
ing punishment of such offensive terms. 

The public buildings of any remarkable claims to 
attention are few, though there is here, as elsewhere, a 
fair proportion of temples, which afford, in most cases, 
a temporary lodging or hotel to the numerous 
immigrants and merchants from other provinces. The 
heads of the native firms generally reside at Soo-chow, 
at the distance of from fifty to eighty miles, leaving 
their brokers and clerks to transact their local business. 
The number of extra-provincial men temporarily 
resident at Shanghai ; the suspicion and distrust 
which the Mandarins entertain towards these naval 
and mercantile strangers from other provinces ; and 
the positive instances of the turbulent and lawless spirit 
of the Chin-chew sailors from the rebellious province 
of Fokeen, have naturally led to exclusive police regu- 
lations relative to non-residence within the city wall. 

It is probably on this account that there was at 
first a reluctance to let houses to foreigners within 
the city ; a difficulty happily now removed by a 
favourable precedent. The alarm also taken by the 
taou-tai at the aggressive labours of the resident 
Missionaries seems to have gradually subsided, under 
the influence of more favourable consideration, into 
a kind of negative permission, or acquiescence in what, 
on principles of justice and benevolence, he felt it 
impossible or inexpedient to check. 

In the city and neighbourhood there are large num- 
bers of Roman-Catholic professors of Christianity. The 
principal settlement is at a place called King-kea- 
hong, about four miles distant on the opposite side of 


the river, at which the bishop resides. He is the 
titular bishop of Heliopolis, and his diocese comprises 
the provinces of Keang-nan and Shantung ; to which it is 
said the province of Pi-che-le (capital Peking) is about 
to be added, on account of the events arising out of 
a dispute between the Pope and the Portuguese of 
Macao. His diocese is computed to contain about 
60,000 Roman Catholics; and his pastoral address to 
the Popish flocks, consequent on his discovering at Soq- 
cbow the document conferring religious toleration, was 
so bold that the Mandarins took umbrage, the tsung- 
tuh saying that he himself had only two provinces under 
his government, but that the bishop assumed three. 

Of the 6000 junks which annually bring down 
the grain for the emperor from Tartary, many are 
manned by Roman-Catholic sailors, who have come 
frequently to hear Mr. Medhurst preach, and through 
whom a Missionary might proceed to Tartary, as the 
people from Tartary and Corea profess their desire of 
being permitted to hold intercourse with foreigners. 

As a Missionary Station Shanghai exceeds the three 
other northern consular ports of Amoy, Foochow, and 
Ningpo in two important particulars -facility of access 
and connexion with the interior. In respect to the former, 
a continual intercourse is likely to be maintained with 
Hong Kong and Europe by means of the numerous ship- 
ping which frequent the port a considerable advan- 
tage in working the practical machinery of Missions. 

In reference to the latter, if it should be the good 
pleasure of God, who alone can, by His Holy Spirit, 
give potency and life to the best-concerted Missionary 
plans, to carry His preached and written word to the 
hearts and consciences of individuals among this pagan 
multitude, the important bearings of a Protestant 



Mission at Shanghai, with its community of native 
Christians and teachers, on the interior of China, can 
hardly be conceived at their proper estimate. Already 
have Christian books, like so many leaves from the 
tree of life, found their way to Nanking, Soo-chow, 
Chin-keang, and other important localities, and ex- 
cited a desire to know more of the doctrines they 
reveal. Already 14,500 cases of medical relief have 
tended to mitigate the sufferings of our fellow-heirs of 
sin, and helped to diffuse amongst the native community 
a respect for the religion of the benevolent foreigner. 
I have been favoured with the following averages 
of temperature, kindly supplied by Dr. Lockhart from 
a register kept in each month of the last year. The 
averages of June extend only over the latter half of 
that month. 


si ** 



o - 





by night. 


g s-o 

S s * 


I 1 ! 



















































































87 68 










OUR time was taken up for two or three days in the 
arrangements for Mr. M'Clatchie's removal into his 
newly-rented house within the south gate of the city. 
The native authorities secretly tried the influence of 
intimidation with the Chinese landlord. The docu- 
ments, however, had been duly signed, and were in 
our possession ; and Mr. M'Clatchie immediately re- 
moved his luggage, and slept his first night of inaugu- 
ration in his new abode. 

On June 19th we went about a mile into the country 
to explore an old ruin which formerly belonged to 
the Roman-Catholic Missionaries, and appeared to be 
about 150 years old. It lay in the midst of a beautiful 
and quiet retreat, with few houses near. An old man 


came out of an adjoining dwelling, and conducted us 
into a dilapidated building, apparently used at pre- 
sent as an old warehouse or lumber-room. It bore 
the plainest marks of having been a church, with a 
semicircular arch dividing the body of the building 
from the chancel, where there was a handsomely- 
carved altar of stone, about four feet in height and 
eight in breadth, surmounted by a horizontal slab 
about a yard in depth. On the outer side was the 
inscription I H S in large Roman characters, sur- 
mounted by a cross ; and the rest of the tablet was 
decorated with carved representations of dragons, the 
sacred emblem of the Chinese mythology. Near the 
entrance was an inscription against the wall outside, 
to the memory of some Christian Mandarin. On 
walking round to the other side of the building, we 
beheld six grave-stones inscribed with the same Ro- 
man letters, I H S, with crosses, and placed on the 
edge of a large mound, which rose to the height of 
twelve feet, and was covered with lilies, plants, and 
some dwarf shrubs, forming a beautiful object in the 
garden which surrounds the ruin. Here ample proof 
existed, if any were needed, that the Romanists, in 
former ages, not only had access into the country, but 
also enjoyed a fair measure of toleration in their Mis- 
sionary work. 

Being desirous of ascertaining the nature and ex- 
tent of Missionary facilities in the neighbourhood of 
Shanghai, I availed myself of the invitation of Mr. 
Medhurst to accompany him on his usual weekly 
Missionary excursion up the river. 

About midnight we embarked in a covered boat, 
with two other Missionaries. We set off at this 


unseasonable hour, in order to have as much time as 
possible before us to bring our trip within a " day's 
journey," in accordance with the consular arrange- 
ments on the subject of boundaries. We slept on the 
seats on either side of our boat, with a few mats 
below and a blanket over us. The mosquitoes were 
very troublesome ; and we tried in vain to expel these 
unwelcome intruders by filling the boat with fumes of 
tobacco, which served only to increase our previous 
difficulty in obtaining rest. Towards day-light, as 
the smarting irritation of their bites subsided, and 
their numbers gradually disappeared, we got a little 
sleep, and rose somewhat refreshed to take our morn- 
ing meal in the boat, which was now nearly twenty 
miles up the river, in a south-west direction from 
Shanghai. From this point we proceeded very slowly, 
till at last we steered up a kang or lesser stream on 
our right ; and after another hour's sculling we 
stopped at a small hamlet, the tide leaving our boat 
without sufficient depth of water to proceed further. 
We landed amidst about a hundred villagers, who 
quickly gathered around us to receive books, which 
were distributed to the most intelligent of their num- 
ber. Mr. Medhurst addressed them afterwards for 
about ten minutes, and finding that they were princi- 
pally professors of the " teen choo keaou," or Roman- 
Catholic religion, dwelt on the more prominent truths 
of the Incarnation and Atonement of Christ, to which 
they assented. But on his subsequently enlarging 
on the necessity of trusting in Christ alone as the 
Saviour, and the sinfulness of raising other Mediators, 
such as the Virgin Mary, who was only a sinful mortal 
like ourselves, they appeared to be somewhat stag- 


At last, witnessing one Chinese very importunate, 
I fetched a copy of Luke's Gospel for him. No 
sooner did he perceive it than he addressed earnest 
entreaties to the boatmen to steer nearer the shore, 
along the banks of which he had been running to 
overtake us ; and, watching my opportunity, I folded 
up the book, and threw it safely on the dry bank. 
Before entering the broad river, we landed and dis- 
tributed tracts at an oil -manufactory, where a number 
of families were congregated. On the north bank of 
the river, also, we landed and passed through a long 
village, named Min Hong, where we had a large 
number of eager applicants, who accompanied us to 
the boat to obtain books. After a few unimportant 
adventures we arrived at Shanghai about eleven P.M., 
thus saving our legal time in the matter of the boun- 
dary regulations. 

June 2lst We went this evening to explore the 
northern parts of the city. Entering by the smaller 
southern gate, we pursued our way for a mile and a 
half through a succession of populous streets and 
lanes, all partaking of the same general features, and 
abounding with a greater than usual number of tea- 
taverns, in which little companies, varying from ten 
to thirty persons, were generally assembled. For 
three or four copper cash less than one farthing the 
labouring people of the poorest class can enter one 
of these establishments, and indulge in a liquor which 
refreshes but does not intoxicate, while quiet harmony 
and peaceful order seem to be universal among them. 
It was a pleasure to contrast the crowded state of 
these tea-taverns with the generally empty appearance 
of the few neighbouring tsew-fang or wine-shops. 


The only addition to the tea was smoking tobacco ; 
and their animated countenances frequently bespoke 
the earnestness with which they were debating over 
the table some question or event of the neighbour- 
hood. As we passed the temple of the God of Fire, 
the Pluto of the Chinese, the assembled crowd, and 
the sounds of musicians in the interior, indicated some 
festal occasion in honour of the deity. Near this we 
passed under a triumphal arch, erected to the memory 
of the celebrated Seu, the father of Candida, both of 
whom bore a prominent part in the events of the 
seventeenth century, the former being raised to the 
highest honours of the state, though a Christian. His 
tomb outside the southern gate is covered with a rich 
crop of verdure, and has seven regularly-planted trees 
of gigantic growth. His posterity are partly Christian 
and partly pagan. The latter have raised an altar to 
his memory within the city, and still continue to wor- 
ship his image. Near the northern gate we visited a 
temple, or rather a district of temples, denominated 
the Ching-wang-meaou, the principal temple of the 
range being dedicated to the presiding deity of the 
city. In this temple there were several courts and 
fanes decked out with idols, some of which were of 
gigantic size and well-executed formation. Around 
the sides were ranged a large number of images, 
representing attendants on the deity, and dressed out 
in an old attire, destitute of the Chinese queue, intro- 
duced by the Manchows. The principal idol was 
placed in a lurid, dismal part of the building, where 
we could hardly catch a glimpse, amidst the dimly- 
burning lamps, of the countenance, upon which a more 
than ordinary portion of, artistic care seemed to. have 


At last, witnessing one Chinese very importunate, 
I fetched a copy of Luke's Gospel for him. No 
sooner did he perceive it than he addressed earnest 
entreaties to the boatmen to steer nearer the shore, 
along the banks of which he had been running to 
overtake us ; and, w r atching my opportunity, I folded 
up the book, and threw it safely on the dry bank. 
Before entering the broad river, we landed and dis- 
tributed tracts at an oil -manufactory, where a number 
of families were congregated. On the north bank of 
the river, also, we landed and passed through a long 
village, named Min Hong, where we had a large 
number of eager applicants, who accompanied us to 
the boat to obtain books. After a few unimportant 
adventures we arrived at Shanghai about eleven P.M., 
thus saving our legal time in the matter of the boun- 
dary regulations. 

June 2lst We went this evening to explore the 
northern parts of the city. Entering by the smaller 
southern gate, we pursued our way for a mile and a 
half through a succession of populous streets and 
lanes, all partaking of the same general features, and 
abounding with a greater than usual number of tea- 
taverns, in which little companies, varying from ten 
to thirty persons, were generally assembled. For 
three or four copper cash less than one farthing the 
labouring people of the poorest class can enter one 
of these establishments, and indulge in a liquor which 
refreshes but does not intoxicate, while quiet harmony 
and peaceful order seem to be universal among them. 
It was a pleasure to contrast the crowded state of 
these tea-taverns with the generally empty appearance 
of the few neighbouring tsew-fang or wine-shops. 


The only addition to the tea was smoking tobacco ; 
and their animated countenances frequently bespoke 
the earnestness with which they were debating over 
the table some question or event of the neighbour- 
hood. As we passed the temple of the God of Fire, 
the Pluto of the Chinese, the assembled crowd, and 
the sounds of musicians in the interior, indicated some 
festal occasion in honour of the deity. Near this we 
passed under a triumphal arch, erected to the memory 
of the celebrated Seu, the father of Candida, both of 
whom bore a prominent part in the events of the 
seventeenth century, the former being raised to the 
highest honours of the state, though a Christian. His 
tomb outside the southern gate is covered with a rich 
crop of verdure, and has seven regularly-planted trees 
of gigantic growth. His posterity are partly Christian 
and partly pagan. The latter have raised an altar to 
his memory within the city, and still continue to wor- 
ship his image. Near the northern gate we visited a 
temple, or rather a district of temples, denominated 
the Ching-wang-meaou, the principal temple of the 
range being dedicated to the presiding deity of the 
city. In this temple there were several courts and 
fanes decked out with idols, some of which were of 
gigantic size and well-executed formation. Around 
the sides were ranged a large number of images, 
representing attendants on the deity, and dressed out 
in an old attire, destitute of the Chinese queue, intro- 
duced by the Manchows. The principal idol was 
placed in a lurid, dismal part of the building, where 
we could hardly catch a glimpse, amidst the dimly- 
burning lamps, of the countenance, upon which a more 
than ordinary portion of. artistic care seemed to. have 


been lavished. In an adjoining building was the image 
of a celebrated military Mandarin, commandant of the 
Woosung forts, who fell in battle while resisting the 
British troops when they took the forts by storm in 
the late war. He had since been canonized, and a 
few days previously solemn offerings had been made 
to his memory. Incense, and the general apparatus 
of idolatry, were lying before his image when we 
entered. The representation of this unfortunate 
hero-warrior is said to be a very faithful likeness, and 
skilfully finished. Further on, the noise of pipes and 
flutes, with stringed instruments, called our attention 
to the dwelling of a shop-keeper, who was paying 
honour to his idol by theatrical exhibitions, and a 
well-supplied feast of sweetmeats and fruit. The 
performers were all boys, who to a certain irregular 
tune were alternating their parts in some pathetic 
romance of real life ; at one time imitating the sounds 
of grief, and at another time of remonstrance and 
expostulation. Our entrance seemed likely to inter- 
rupt, for a time, some of these juvenile musicians and 
actors ; but after a little faltering hesitation they 
continued their animated chantings. In the shops 
several caricatures were to be seen of the English, 
in military or naval costume, with most grotesque 
figures, arranged by the artist so as to bring down 
ridicule on foreigners. A European lady was re- 
presented in one of the caricature-drawings, in a 
very inelegant posture, evidently intended to excite 
merriment at the expense of foreign manners. A large 
open space in this vicinity was covered with temples, 
some of which were situated on a small lake, and were 
approached by bridges. The whole appearance was 


very unique. On our return we found the city-gates 
shut, at eight p. M. On our raising a shout they were 
immediately opened ; and as we passed, the watch- 
word was promptly conveyed to the porter of the 
outer gate, who also opened for us without any 
questions or delay. 

June 22d After the service at the British Con- 
sulate, I attended Mr. Medhurst's Chinese service, in 
a large lower room in his own house. This being the 
day for the burial, at Soo-chow, of the deceased wife 
of the che-heen, or mayor of the city, many Chinese 
were kept away by the theatrical exhibitions which 
prevailed in the city. The sacred festival, also, of 
the tsal shin meaou, or " Temple of the God of 
Wealth," was another impediment to there being the 
usual number of attendants. About a hundred re- 
spectably-dressed Chinese listened for nearly an hour 
to the Missionary while he read and explained a 
printed sermon, composed for the occasion, a copy of 
which was placed in the hand of every individual to 
read at the time, and to take to his home for subse- 
quent perusal. They appeared much interested, and 
expressed their approbation of the doctrines explained 
to them. Mr. Medhurst makes it his practice to com- 
pose his discourse in the literary style, and to print 
it previously to its delivery, that each of his hearers 
may have the subject in writing before him. He read 
a few sentences, and then explained and enlarged on 
them in the dialect of the place. One of the auditors 
had come from Kea-ting, thirty miles distant, to con- 
vey a request that the Missionaries would go thither 
to preach. Similar cases of inquiry have occurred at 
Soo-chow and Nanking ; and at this time one such 


case from Chin-keang-foo* was under Dr. Lockhart's 
roof. The cases of this kind have been generally 
those of men of affluence and education ; and the 
Christian tracts which had been carried to distant 
towns were the first link in the chain of instrumental 
events which led them within the sound of the 
preached Word of God. 

At nine o'clock in the morning Mr. Medhurst had 
previously held a service in the city in the Fokeen 
dialect, for the benefit of the enterprising merchants 
from that province, temporarily resident at Shanghai. 
In the evening he again held a service at Dr. Lock- 
hart's, at which about one hundred were present, one- 
third of the number being women, who sat apart from 
the rest in the surgery-room adjoining the open court 
in which the men were seated. After the service was 
concluded, several Chinese approached the table, 
asking for books, especially naming the tung-shoo, or 
"Christian Almanac." One of them was a grain- 
dealer from Hang-chow, the terminus of the Grand 
Canal. He and several others asked when there 
would be another service of the kind, a good sign of 
the interest excited. 

June 23d I set off at six A.M. to make a trip 
around the city walls. Being unable to walk the' dis- 
tance, I employed two men to carry me in a bamboo 
chair. Making our way from the suburbs to the lesser 
southern gate, we mounted the parapet by a flight of 
about twenty stone steps, and proceeded in a north- 
west direction towards the larger southern gate. The 

* This man, a literary graduate, has since been admitted to 


city here presented a rural aspect, forming one suc- 
cession of pleasant gardens, with only a few houses 
interspersed. Outside the wall there was scarcely a 
house to be seen till our arrival at the northern gate, 
where both the city and suburbs appeared to be more 
thickly peopled. Near this point we had to pass 
through a temple of the Taou sect, which surmounted 
the wall, and consequently lay across our course. An 
old man, apparently connected with the temple, began 
conversing with the bearers ; and afterwards, approach- 
ing my chair, shook hands with me, and pressed me to 
alight and explore the building. He took me across a 
room filled with attendants to another series of rooms, 
anxious to show me what he considered the wonders 
of the place, till want of time compelled me to de- 
cline his attentions. Near this point we passed two 
dead bodies of beggars, who were brought hither, 
in the last stage of life, to die, and to be buried at the 
expense of the government, or by the agents of some 
>enevolent society. During the excursion we passed 
six or seven other dead bodies on the city wall, two of 
finch were lying at the entrance of a temple. Bending 
)ur course from the northern gate, in a south-east direc- 
tion, we passed along a thickly-inhabited part of the 
3ity, abounding with temples, some of which compelled 
is to descend from the parapet and to re-ascend on the 
)ther side of the building. Towards the two eastern 
rates, the suburbs retired to a little distance from the 
fall, the intermediate space being occupied by wide 
spacious paths with a few houses interspersed. The 
>rincipal part of the buildings in the suburbs followed 
the course of the river, showing the commercial 
character of the population. The eastern parts of 


the city seemed to possess the finest private build- 
ings, and a more opulent class of inhabitants. The 
long range of buildings connected with the depart- 
ment of the superintendant of the customs occupied a 
considerable extent of space. One fact I noticed, 
which may serve to show the extent to which idola- 
trous offerings form an essential part of the daily life 
of this people. Not only along the streets may be 
seen a number of shops, at which scarcely any thing 
else is sold but silver paper for offerings ; but also in 
a solitary part of the city wall I met with a small stand, 
the whole vendible articles of which consisted of fra- 
grant sticks, incense, sacred candles, and the substitute 
for money made from tinfoil. The whole circuit of the 
walls and return to the suburbs occupied about one 
hour and a half. The people everywhere showed a 
friendly disposition, and the impression of the city was, 
on the whole, favourable. The thing which excited 
most surprise was to find that for more than half the 
circuit of the walls there were scarcely any houses 
in their vicinity, and nothing to resemble a regular 
street for above a quarter of a mile in some parts ; the 
neighbourhood of the walls being apparently inhabited 
by an agricultural or horticultural class of people. 

Later in the day I visited a Corean junk manned by 
Roman-Catholic sailors, and lying in the river off the 
custom-house. The circumstances attending the arri- 
val of this little vessel possessed more than ordinary 
interest. The self-styled captain was a deacon of the 
Roman-Catholic Church planted in former times in 
Corea, where it has survived the power of successive 
persecutions, during one of which his own father and 
grandfather had been put to death. The arrival of 


these strangers, with their peculiar garb and high- 
peaked caps, furnished an occasion of amusement to 
the Chinese in Shanghai. The Coreans soon formed 
a subject for the native painters of caricatures; and 
grotesque representations of them were to be seen 
exposed for sale at the picture-shops. The immediate 
object of their visit to Shanghai was to request that a 
bishop might be sent back with them from the Popish 
Mission near the city. In order to escape the sus- 
picion of the Chinese authorities, they feigned to be 
driven, by stress of weather and with the loss of a mast, 
into the port for refuge, where they pretended to refit 
their vessel for a return to their own country. On 
my going on board, I was welcomed, in the captain's 
absence, by two or three of the crew, into a little nar- 
row cabin, screened only by canvass from the elements. 
I found three Latin Missals and a Popish Calendar 
lying on the table, the greater part of them being 
printed in Paris, and one bearing the date 1823. 
Although possessing a language of their own, they 
could speak Chinese in the Court dialect. They made 
frequent signs of the cross as I conversed with them. 
Before my departure I sketched out, in Latin, a note 
for the captain, giving a short outline of the more pro- 
minent truths of the Gospel. Just as I had concluded, 
the captain was announced as coming from the shore. 
In a few minutes he arrived and cordially greeted me. 
He was named Sung-kim, and stated himself to be 
twenty-four years of age. He estimated the population 
of Corea, his native country, at fourteen millions, about 
10,000 of whom were Christians. He said that they 
observed the Sabbath-day, but were not rigidly strict 
in fasting. In reply to my question, he stated that they 


had in Corea only three or four of the Latin books 
which I saw on the table ; and that death had taken 
from them their bishop and all their priests. He 
professed to have brought no cargo, and said that he 
intended to take none back on their return. Their 
only object in making so long a voyage was to obtain 
a bishop for Corea, whom they would convey back in 
their junk. As the Romish bishop was now absent 
from Shanghai on a secret mission to Peking, the 
Coreans were anxiously awaiting his daily-expected 
return : and report affirmed that they had taxed their 
ingenuity to the utmost, in imposing on the authorities 
excuses for delaying their departure. At my invita- 
tion the captain read aloud from one of the Latin 
Missals. The page from which he read contained an 
extravagant eulogium of the Virgin, in which I parti- 
cularly noticed the term Mater Dei, shortly after fol- 
lowed by .... qua pervia cceli Porta manes, " Mother 
of God, who continuest the gate through which we 
pass to heaven." 

On June 25th we visited the tungjin tang, or " Hall 
of United Benevolence." The existence of such insti- 
tutions in China is a striking trait in the national 
character, and exhibits a measure of natural bene- 
volence almost peculiar to the Chinese as a pagan 
nation. The Chinese have been for more than 2000 
years an isolated people, and yet we behold amongst 
them, what Christian writers have in former times 
been disposed to doubt or deny, the existence of bene- 
volent institutions as the fruits of pagan morality. 

The "Hall of United Benevolence" has its ceme- 
tery, hospital, and similar institutions in different 
parts of the city and suburbs, at which coffins are 


provided, and the expenses of burial defrayed for the 
unclaimed dead. A few aged and infirm persons, also, 
are supplied with relief, the expenses of support and 
management being defrayed by private subscriptions. 
On entering the court we turned aside into a hall, 
where a master was engaged in teaching about twenty 
boys, who, with fifteen old men, were the only inmates 
of this place. In a little room on the right were nine 
coffins quite new, of plain though very substantial 
construction, and ready for use at any time. These 
were inscribed in Chinese characters, with the name 
of the institution, |WJ < ^ tung jin tang, and with 
the figures 6382 to 6390 consecutively, being the num- 
ber of coffins gratuitously supplied since the com- 
mencement of the institution. 

From this place we proceeded to the yuh ying tang, 
or " Foundling Hospital," which is also supported by 
subscriptions, and is intended to receive the female 
children of those who are too poor to support their 
offspring. At the entrance the Chinese attendants 
showed us the little box in which the infant is placed, 
as in a kind of drawer, and passed by its relatives 
into the interior, a bell being rung to apprise the in- 
mates of the arrival of the young stranger. This 
explanation of its use, and corresponding gestures of 
the attendants, drew forth considerable mirth from 
the collected crowd. Two hundred female infants 
are said to be received annually. In the principal 
hall was a gigantic image of an old woman, with five 
infants either in her arms or hanging to her person. 
We went through a few wards, and saw six nurses 
with the same number of children, most of them under 
a year old; the greater part of the children being 


supported away from the hospital, at the expense of 
its funds. Each child had a wooden tally, with its 
own name and that of the institution inscribed on it, 
and kept by its nurse. The superintendant presented 
me with a copy of the printed Report of the Institu- 
tion, containing nearly a hundred pages. 

We went next to visit an old temple called the 
Kwan-te-meaou, the " Temple of the Martial God," or, 
as it is also commonly termed, the teen-choo tang, the 
" Hall of the Lord of Heaven," a Roman-Catholic 
church formerly occupying its site. In the time of 
the Ming dynasty it was burnt down, and the Chinese 
authorities, at a later period, availed themselves of the 
unpopularity of the Romanist Missionaries to convert 
it into a pagan temple. On the ruin was rebuilt the 
present edifice to the honour of Kwan-te, a deified 
martial hero, who nourished in the San-kwo, about the 
time of the Christian era. The Roman-Catholic 
bishop is said to be strenuously exerting his influence 
at this time to get it restored to its original purposes, 
and to build a cathedral on its site. As we entered, 
there were several hundred persons collected to wit- 
ness a theatrical exhibition in the outer square. Be- 
hind the temple a terrace is said to be still remaining, 
from which some of the learned Jesuit Missionaries, 
in former times, made their astronomical observa- 
tions, by their improvements in which science they 
gained such an influence over the Chinese rulers. By 
an act of ingratitude, however, no sooner had the 
Jesuits framed a calendar for astronomical purposes, 
extending forward for centuries, than the Chinese 
emperor expelled the men of whose services he was 
now independent. 


The temple itself possessed nothing remarkable, 
except the size and splendour of the idols, that of 
Kwan-te occupying a prominent position. A few men 
were observed in the interior effecting some repairs 
and decorating portions of the temple. There ap- 
peared to be, at this time, a revived zeal for beautify- 
ing the public buildings at Shanghai, indicating the 
thriving trade as well as the thriving superstition of 
the inhabitants. 

When on the point of embarking for Ningpo, I 
went in a boat to make a final visit to the Corean junk. 
I took with me a copy of the Gospel of St. Luke in 
Chinese, for each of the crew, twelve in number ; and 
a copy of the Epistle to the Romans and a manual of 
prayers for the captain. On arriving alongside I was 
informed that the captain was absent, but the books 
were readily received by the crew, who pressed me 
by urgent invitations to come on board, which I was 
unable to do, as I was in hourly expectation of sail- 
ing. About an hour had elapsed after my embarka- 
tion, when one of the Corean crew boarded our 
vessel, and, with many protestations of respect, begged 
permission to return the whole of the books, and to 
decline the present from me. The reason, which I 
more than suspected, was the subsequent return of the 
captain, a Romish deacon, educated by the priests at 
Macao, and his unwillingness that his men should re- 
ceive what he probably deemed to contain the elements 
of Protestant heresy. The motive, however, assigned 
by the Corean was, that, in the absence of the captain, 
they had no authority to receive any books, and that he 
already had some religious books for them. It was not 
difficult to see through this flimsy pretext. Before 


his departure I held a brief conversation with him, 
being desirous of ascertaining whether he had any 
intellectual perception of the more prominent truths 
of the Gospel. He soon furnished painful evidence 
of the amount of external zeal which may co-exist 
with ignorance of the Gospel in its essential truth. 
On my asking him to whom a sinner can flee for re- 
fuge and pray for forgiveness of sins, he reiterated 
the reply, in spite of my remonstrances on the unrea- 
sonableness of such a hope, Yay-soo teih moo-tsin, 
Mah-le-a, " Jesus's mother, Mary." 

A Romanist Missionary subsequently informed me 
that the Coreans remained for a sufficient length of 
time to accomplish the object of their visit, and took 
back a bishop and three priests. The bishop came 
from Hong Kong, and had already been seven years a 
Missionary in one of the interior provinces. 













ON June 26th we weighed anchor and dropped down 
the river with the ebb-tide. Numbers of junks from 
Shantung and Tartary, laden with grain, were in the 
river, with a multitude of boats, propelled by one or 
two sculls, each of which was sometimes of sufficient 
size to employ eight or ten persons. Oars seemed to 
be a mechanical contrivance either unknown or un- 
valued in comparison with the scull. We came to 
anchor at Woosung, a heavy gale blowing during the 
night from the south-east. The next morning, the 
27th, the weather moderated, and the wind slightly 
changed, so as to enable us to sail down the Yang- 
tze-keang to the east of Gutzlaff's Island. We came 
to anchor, during a fog, somewhere near Rocky Island, 



at the opening of the bay which indents the coast of 
Keang-soo and Che-keang provinces, and contains two 
of the most important ports of the central line of sea- 
board Hang-chow-foo, the terminus of the Grand 
Canal, and Chapoo, the port to which the Japanese 
trading junks are restricted. 

The day after, as soon as the fog cleared away, we 
weighed anchor, and sailed to the eastward of some 
islands forming part of the Chusan group, till we 
were again compelled to drop anchor, at 4 P.M., for 
the night. The next morning we found ourselves 
near the opening of the river which leads to Ningpo, 
the entrance of which, however, was a work of danger 
and difficulty, from the numerous sunken rocks which 
here abound. Being deputed by the captain to act 
as an interpreter, I was sent off with a boat's crew to 
one of the fishing-boats to obtain a pilot. There being 
little wind, the poor fishermen could not have escaped 
from our oars, even if they had cherished the wish. 
With some difficulty I made them comprehend the na- 
ture of my errand ; and by kind words, and assurances 
of good treatment, one of them was induced to return 
with us to the ship, where he was of some service in 
directing our course through this rocky channel. As 
we entered the river, the wind suddenly failing, and the 
contrary tide running strong, we were compelled to 
lie at anchor for several hours off the city of Chin-hai. 
The neigbouring hills possessed all the romantic in- 
terest of the scenery further south, with the additional 
advantage of a fair amount of cultivation, the soil being 
divided into parterres of vegetation rising one above 
another, and marking the stimulus afforded by neces- 
sity to the industry of an excessive population. Two 


forts, one on either side, guarded the entrance of the 
river, which was lined by a long battery of fortifica- 
tions, extending half a mile. These were captured 
by the British in the late war, and the city itself was 
occupied for some months by the troops. It is said 
that the battle of Chin-hai was one of the most san- 
guinary, next to the capture of Chin-keang-foo, that 
took place in the course of the war. Upwards of a 
thousand Chinese were slain, being driven down by 
the British troops on either side into the river, from 
which only two or three hundred could be prevailed 
upon to return and receive quarter, on the assurances 
of safety given by the interpreter. Large crowds of 
people were at this time assembled on the bank 
outside the wall to catch a view of us, the arrival of a 
foreign vessel being still an event of unfrequent oc- 
currence. As we lay among a fleet of junks, a boat 
was observed making for our vessel, with a large piece 
of cloth, in the form of a flag, suspended from a pole, 
and inscribed with Chinese characters, intimating that 
they were from the hai-quan, or custom-house. Two 
officials requested the production of the ship's pass, 
the port from which she had sailed, the nature of her 
cargo, and other particulars. The required papers 
being produced for their inspection, they were pro- 
ceeding to put a further series of queries from a book, 
having parallel sentences in Chinese and English, 
when I interrupted them by the observation that this 
was our Sabbath-day, on which it was our custom to 
avoid unnecessary business. This intimation was a 
sufficient inducement to them to terminate their in- 
quiries, and, with the usual salutations of respect, they 
descended to their boat without further questions. 

. M 2 


With the evening's tide we proceeded up the river 
to the city of Ningpo, twelve miles distant, a con- 
tinuous series of villages and temples enlivening the 
scenery. The hills at the mouth of the river gra- 
dually recede on either side ; so that Ningpo occupies 
the centre of an extended plain, the high ground, at 
the distance of fifteen miles, rising two or three thou- 
sand feet above the valley enclosed by them. 

The only foreign vessel lying off the city was a 
Scotch bark, close to which we took our position. Few 
minutes had elapsed before another party of custom- 
house officials made their appearance, and, after a 
series of bowings, were proceeding to their interroga- 
tions, when I pursued immediately the same course as 
at Chin-hai, saying that this was our holy day, and that 
we were unwilling to enter on any business till the 
following morning, when all the information they 
desired would be obtainable, together with the ship's 
papers, at the British Consulate. This plea of exemp- 
tion was instantly acknowledged as reasonable and 
satisfactory ; and the promptness with which they left 
the vessel was an additional proof of the willingness 
of the Chinese to respect in others that adherence to 
principle and customary observances, which they so 
rigidly practise themselves. 

On the following morning, June 30th, I landed at 
the British Consulate. The houses of the few 
foreigners resident at Ningpo are situated in a little 
suburb on the northern bank of the river, by which 
they are separated from the city itself. Here I \vas 
hospitably entertained by the Vice-Consul, formerly 
a member of the University of Cambridge. During 
the next three days I made visits to some Missionary 


brethren, whose acquaintance I had formed in the 
south of China, especially to two American friends on 
the other side of the river, who, for the present, were 
lodging in a part of a Taouist temple within the 
northern gate of the city. The foundation of this 
monastery was of comparatively recent origin, dating 
no further back than fifty years, in the reign of Kea- 
King, the predecessor of the present emperor. It 
forms an assemblage of temples, comprised under the 
general name of j^ ^ ^| yew shing quan. 

The principal building forms the monastery, in 
which six Taouist priests reside, who are remarkable 
for little else than their vacant looks, their excessive 
ignorance, and the obesity of their persons, which 
gives rise to the suspicion that they are not very 
rigid in their adherence to the vegetable diet of mo- 
nastic rule. In the north-west extremity of the range 
of buildings is a small nunnery the frequent appen- 
dage of these institutions in which three nuns of ill 
repute reside. In the south-west angle is a temple of 
ancestors, placed under the superintendence of the 
monks, at which, twice in each month, there is a 
general attendance of the city-mandarins for worship. 
In the south-east corner is another temple, which, 
is denominated ~3^ *jj p*j| wan chang ko, being dedi- 
cated to a deity of the Taou sect, named wan chang. 
In this building my two Missionary friends were do- 
miciled ; and we surveyed the other untenanted parts, 
with the intention of my securing a lodging in the 
temple. The apartments placed at my option ad- 
joined a little room, in which was an idol of the god 
of the north-star. In my proposed lodging there were 
lying several coffins of substantial construction, sent 


hither by superstitious individuals, whose bodies they 
were destined hereafter to enclose, under the absurd 
belief that the sacred vicinity in which they were 
lodged was calculated to ensure long life and prospe- 
rity a superstition of which the monks probably were 
not anxious to disabuse their minds, in the accession 
which it brings to the revenues of the temple. 

As, however, I regarded Ningpo as the probable 
scene of my future Missionary labours, and was there- 
fore desirous, if possible, of securing a residence, in 
the midst of the native population, of a more perma- 
nent tenure, we strolled into the heart of the city, and 
looked at several houses. In this matter I received 
valuable assistance from Sze seen-sang, the teacher of 
one of the Missionaries, who evinced a great interest 
in Christianity. He seemed pleased at my being a 
Missionary, and was very active in reducing every 
item of expenditure to an economical scale. Several 
unsuitable houses were shown to us; and we were 
near giving over the hope of success, when a man told 
us of a vacant house between the East and the Salt 
Gates, which seemed, on examination, likely to suit my 
purpose. After two or three days' preliminary nego- 
tiations, on July 3d the lease was duly signed by the 
chung-jin, or house-agent, and myself, and attested by 
one foreigner and one Chinese, in addition to the 
Chinese who drew up the document. The terms 
were favourable, viz. 9 dollars a month six months' 
rent to be paid immediately, as a deposit and a 
guarantee against ejection or increase of rent by the 
landlord. The deed was torn down the middle, and 
each party retained his half, as security. The matter 
occupied three hours, with the various little debates 


and consultations which arose from it : but this was 
a rare instance of promptness and despatch for such 
an occasion. 

July \2th I visited, with a medical Missionary and 
his teacher, a Chinese family in the western part of the 
city, one of the members of which was dangerously ill. 
The old man, the head of the family, received us in a 
hall, where a feast of sweetmeats and tea was served to 
us. A kind of spirituous liquor, distilled from rice, was 
poured out from a teapot into small cups, and handed 
to us to taste. The old man kept watching, and re- 
plenishing our saucers with sweetmeats and cakes, 
which he broke into morsels with his own fingers, 
dipping them into a kind of sauce. My friend Sze 
seen-sang was, however, annoyed at his excessive 
attentions and use of his fingers, telling him that it 
was the custom of foreigners to help themselves, and 
handing us the chop-sticks for the purpose. The old 
gentleman still insisted on his doing the honours of 
the occasion ; and our portion was handed to us as 
before, in his fingers, dropping with sauce. In the 
open space outside were ranged a number of dwarf 
trees, which the Chinese show much patience and 
skill in restraining within the limits of a stunted 
growth. There were little shrubs, resembling the fir 
and the oak, and possessing all the proportions and 
beautiful foliage of large trees, compressed to a dimi- 
nutive size, scarcely exceeding eighteen inches in 

We were soon after summoned to survey the melan- 
choly scenes of the sick chamber. Under the same 
roof lived the patriarch and his descendants to the third 
generation, with the wives of his sons and grandsons. 


The ladies of the family stood at a door, and eagerly 
stole secret glances at the foreigners, quickly retreating 
on the discovery that they were observed. One of the 
sons was lying on a bed, afflicted with dropsy, under 
the effects of which he was suffering acutely, his body 
being swollen to twice the natural size. The aged 
mother supported his languid frame, and betrayed the 
tender emotions of maternal affection; while the father 
expatiated, in sonorous tones and with wild gestures, 
on the symptoms of the disease. The native prac- 
titioners had been pursuing their irrational mode of 
treatment, on the supposition that it was a little glo- 
bule of coagulated blood which was circulating in the 
body, and must be expelled before any hope of reco- 
very could be cherished. For this purpose, among 
other specifics, toads had been prescribed for the 
patient. The real seat of disease appeared to be the 
liver ; but the serious stage of the disease, and their 
unwillingness to act decidedly against the course pre- 
scribed by the native quacks, rendered foreign medi- 
cal skill almost useless. The poor fellow died about a 
fortnight afterwards. 

On returning to the water side, we found the 
weather so boisterous, and the waves running so high, 
that the Chinese boatmen would not venture across. 
I had therefore to remain in the city with my Ameri- 
can friends, and slept in the Taouist monastery, in a 
room adjoining the great hall of Confucius. I was 
more successful in my attempt to cross over early the 
next day. 

July 14kth I had a long conversation with a well- 
informed Chinese, named Sing, an attache of the 
British Consulate, who, in the late war, acted as a 


paymaster in the Chinese army, for which the prin- 
cipal reward he received was the privilege of wearing 
a gold button on his cap, the decoration of Mandarins 
of the three lowest ranks. His relation to the British, 
and knowledge of the English language, rendered him 
a person of some importance to the Mandarins, by 
whom he was frequently sent for to explain business 
relating to foreigners. On the strength of his in- 
creasing consequence and augmented income, he 
lately determined to marry ; but a strange mistake 
occurred to mar the joyous festivity of his marriage. 
On the occasion of a procession of native females to 
some temple, the daughter of a neighbouring gentle- 
man had caught the eye of Sing, who had thereupon 
become sensible to her attractions, and had employed 
the usual services of a chiwg-jin, or go-between. This 
office is generally discharged by an elderly lady, 
familiar with the usages of such occasions, by whom 
the customary presents are sent, and the engagement 
is duly contracted. Unfortunately for Sing, the lady 
who was the object of his affection was the fourth 
daughter, while he, in his simplicity, believed her to 
be the fifth. The match was made in accordance 
with this error; and on the nuptial day the bride 
was carried in a gaily-decorated sedan-chair, with the 
usual pomp and band of musicians, from the house of 
her father to the house of the bridegroom. The 
bride, lifted by two matrons over the threshold of her 
new abode, was now, for the first time, introduced to 
her future lord. The nuptials were on the point of 
consummation, by the ceremony of drinking together 
the " cup of alliance ;" but here Sing's joy received 
an unexpected interruption. Instead of welcoming 


the beautiful damsel whom he had before seen, he had 
the mortification of beholding her younger sister, of 
very plain exterior, and with personal attractions consi- 
derably diminished, in his estimation, by the marks of 
small-pox. At first he proposed that she should 
return to her father's house ; but as she objected, he 
deemed it expedient, on further reflection, to bear the 
disappointment with patience, and is said to be gra- 
dually reconciled to his lot. 

The Chinese do not scruple to have as many wives 
as they can afford to purchase, although a large 
number sometimes operates to retard the advance- 
ment of the individual. Sing stated to me, that, a 
short time since, there was a military Mandarin of the 
first class, Le ta-jin, holding the rank of a general at 
Ningpo. His father had performed, thirty years ago, 
some distinguished services to the State, for which 
the Emperor had ennobled him and his family to 
the fourth generation, with the rank of /f0 pih, or 
" earl." His son, the general, had ten wives ; which 
circumstance being reported to the Emperor, excited 
a distrust of his official ability ; and he was dismissed 
from his military command to return to his native 
province of Fokeen. The reason assigned for his 
dismissal was, that he was too much engaged in 
domestic affairs. 

Sing is an able and clever Chinese, but possesses very 
lax moral principles. He frankly confessed that the 
Confucians do not believe in a future state of rewards 
and punishments, saying, with a contemptuous tone, 
that they left such notions to the Budhists. According 
to his view, Confucius left no instructions respecting 
the Deity, and taught his followers, that such things 


as worshipping idols were matters of indifference, to 
be decided altogether by the tastes or interests of 
the individual. The clung loo, "the straight way," 
was the only path of moral duty of any importance, 
in the estimate of the sage. 

On July 16th, after some delay caused by indisposi- 
tion, I was safely inducted into my new residence 
within the city- wall, which almost touched the back 
of my house. The houses adjacent to my residence 
were tenanted by persons of the worst character, 
which was a source of continual annoyance to me, as I 
had frequent melancholy proofs of their low estimate 
of European morality. My rebuke of one of this 
class created some surprise. This quarter of the city 
was, however, favourable for acquiring the local 
dialect; and my house was within a few hundred 
yards of the Tung mun keae, or "East-gate street," 
the principal street of the city. My only foreign 
neighbours within the city were two American Mis- 
sionaries, lodging in a temple above a mile distant. 
Separated to a great extent from intercourse with 
Christians, I nevertheless found solitude to be pleasant 
and profitable. The heat soon began to be intense ; 
and the only hour during which it was safe to venture 
out of doors was about sunset. At this season of the 
evening I usually took a short walk on the city-wall 
adjacent to my house. 

Occasionally, as I sat in a little recess of the ram- 
part, the Chinese labourers would stop to look at the 
books, which I generally carried with me for distribu- 
tion ; but scarcely one man in five could read a cha- 
racter. A few of the more respectable class of trades- 
men and writers in the public offices would sometimes 


remain questioning me. The inquiries generally 
referred to the nature of my objects, my employments, 
my residence, the number of my domestics, the num- 
ber of times I ate rice in a day, and many similar 
matters, by which they sought to estimate my impor- 
tance. A few of them afterwards paid me a visit at 
my house. Two old men, who soon began to claim 
an acquaintance with me, used to ask me about the 
cross, and the difference between my religion and that 
of the Roman Catholics, whom they had seen in the 
neighbouring town of Tze-ke. 

On July 23d I varied my usual evening route, by 
paying a visit, with my teacher, to the pagoda com- 
monly called Teen-fung tah, " The tower of celestial 
wind." After passing through several court-yards of 
a neighbouring Budhist monastery, I at last found 
myself in the open space, in which this lofty tower 
stands. The ground was overgrown with thick herb- 
age ; and the large number of tombs, placed, accord- 
ing to the custom of the central and northern pro- 
vinces, above the level of the soil, gave it almost 
the appearance of a European burial-ground. The 
building is hexagonal, and has seven stories. A suc- 
cession of wooden stairs within conducts the visitor 
to the highest story ; and as he gradually ascends, the 
view from the windows of each story is increasingly 
grand and magnificent. Beneath his feet lie the living 
masses of a populous city, teeming with busy toil. 
Every variety of form, size, and colour helps to heighten 
the novel effect, and imparts a feeling of romance to 
the objects before him. The numerous temples reared 
by native superstition, the curiously-devised buildings, 
the grotesque style of architecture, the elaborately- 


formed roofs, the strangely-sculptured arches, the 
various emblems of civic authority, and the irregular 
range of public buildings, form one successive group 
of motley objects, as far as the eye extends. The 
walls, which begirt the city at the distance of one or 
two miles on either side, are relieved from their 
monotonous appearance by the watch-towers which 
surmount the gates. On three sides the city is sur- 
rounded by streams of considerable breadth, into 
which numerous dykes conduct the drains and refuse 
of the place. To the east lies the river, with an 
assemblage of native junks on its waters. Beyond the 
walls an extended plain stretches forward amid a 
fertile and productive country, till, at the distance of 
ten or twenty miles, the bold line of hills, rising in the 
sky, gives a completeness to the scene. Here, if any- 
where, will the traveller, as he views this moving 
panorama of life, realize the feeling, that he is in a 
new world of men and things. 

As we descended, a priest was standing below to 
receive his perquisite of a few cash for his superin- 
tendence of the building. The pagoda is said to have 
been built about 900 years ago, during the How Chow 
dynasty ; and a vague superstition in the power of the 
tutelary gods of the city was probably the sole origin 
of an edifice, which remote generations have viewed 
with interest. It has suffered a larger than average 
proportion of disasters from casualties and the ravages 
of the elements. Its exterior bears the mark of age 
in the half-tottering appearance of the whole edifice. 
The interior is in a better state of preservation, having 
been repaired, about six years ago, by a Chinese gen- 
tleman, of some local celebrity, named Wang, who is 


said to have expended 3000 dollars on the building. 
His public spirit and liberality have been emulated 
by another wealthy Chinese, named Fung, who has 
amassed an immense fortune by his junks trading in 
the Eastern Ocean, and now resides at a little dis- 
tance from the city, at a place called Tze-ke. There 
he seeks to enjoy the comforts and splendour of 
wealth, and the more substantial luxury of doing 
good, in the Chinese estimate of the matter, by re- 
pairing temples, beautifying public buildings, and 
mending the roads in the vicinity. 

The pagoda is more than 100 feet in height, and is 
ascended by deep steps, ninety-two in number, to the 
uppermost story, above which it is roofed over on the 
top. The priest, who was completely deaf, seemed 
to possess no respect in the minds of the surrounding 
crowd. The Gospel of St. John and the Epistle of 
St. James were left with him, as a memorial of our 
visit. Nothing can be more humiliating than the 
general condition of these men, who by their poverty, 
by the absence of the means of an honest livelihood, 
or by being sold in infancy, have become attached 
to the monastic institutions. 

We proceeded thence to visit the hwui-hwui tang, 
or Mahomedan temple, in Woo-se, near the famous 
lake in the interior of the city. The building was 
not extensive, but had an air of peculiar neatness. 
Some flowers and shrubs were tastefully arranged in 
the principal court, into which two or three dwellings 
opened, the mosque itself (if it may be dignified with 
such a name) occupying the upper end of the court, 
and being slightly raised. The old priest, a man of fine 
intelligent appearance and lively manners, received me 


and my teacher with great politeness. The Mahome- 
dans are a small body, having come to Ningpo from 
the province of Shantung about 200 years ago, and they 
now number only about sixty-seven persons of all ages 
and both sexes. They are Mongul Tartars by descent, 
and are engaged principally in trade. Some of them 
are employed as writers in the public offices ; and there 
are also a few soldiers among their number. The old 
priest was a native of Shantung, having been sent for 
thence to Ningpo, forty years ago, according to the 
custom of supplying the priesthood, on a vacancy, 
from their original province. After we had taken some 
tea together, and made an exchange of some trifling 
presents, he sent his grandson to bring some Arabic 
books and portions of the Koran, which he appeared 
to read with great fluency. His knowledge of geogra- 
phical names exceeded that of the generality of 
Chinese to be met with in the north of China. He 
mentioned the countries in which his religion pre- 
vailed, among which he named Bokhara, Madras, 
Turkey, and several places in Arabia. We adjourned 
into the temple, which was written over with sacred 
sentences from the Koran, and had a little ark for the 
sacred books, with a moveable pulpit. I had pre- 
viously supplied him and another Mahomedan with 
one of the Gospels and Epistles in Chinese ; but was 
surprised to find, on asking the priest to read some 
Chinese inscriptions in the temple, that he was unable 
to decipher a single character, though he speaks the 
language very well, and has been during forty 
years a resident in Ningpo. He mentioned Nanking 
as the place where the professors of Mahomedanism 
are most numerous, computing them, at that place, to 


exceed 20,000. On my return, I took a walk around 
the Woo-se lake and its fine assemblage of public 
buildings. A cool, refreshing breeze rippled its sur- 
face ; and the comparative quietude of the spot, and 
the open spaciousness of the scene, after the close 
noisy streets through which we had been borne, im- 
parted a soothing influence to the mind. 

On the next day, Fung, the Mahomedan priest, re- 
turned my visit. One of his Mahomedan friends had 
lately come from Shantung, and brought thence three 
small Tartar horses for sale. His friend was thinking 
of proceeding with them to Chusan, and the old man 
wished to have my advice on the expediency of this 
course, and the probability of finding a purchaser 
among the English residents. I suggested to him that 
the approaching evacuation of Chusan by the British 
troops, at the end of the Chinese year, was likely to 
increase the difficulty of sale. 

We afterwards had some conversation on more 
general topics, which I was enabled to carry on by 
the help of my teacher, Le seen-sang, and by the slow 
enunciation of the priest himself. He spoke of the 
great strictness of his sect in abstaining from intoxica- 
ting liquors, and said he was invested with the power 
of inflicting corporal chastisement on any of his people 
addicted to intemperance. He next dwelt on the fre- 
quent religious ablutions which they practised, and 
which he seemed to regard as a mark of their devout- 
ness. To this it was replied, that Christians did not 
neglect outward washings, but that the object of the 
Gospel was to cleanse the inward man ; and that if 
the heart were right, outward conduct would be right. 
On my stating that all men were naturally possessed 


of wicked hearts, and quoting the beginning of the San- 
tze-king,for the purpose of denying the truth of its state- 
ment, that " man's disposition at the commencement is 
originally good," the priest and my teacher both ex- 
claimed, in their surprise, " How can a little child be 
wicked !" I proceeded to instance the truth of my 
assertion, in the proneness of children to anger, even 
in infancy, and their increasing wickedness with their 
increasing years. How then (I asked) could the heart 
be made good ? How could sin be forgiven ? Jesus 
could effect both, and the worshipper of Jesus became 
happy. The old man spoke of the zeal of his sect 
against idolatry, and their breaking of images when- 
ever they had the power. He asked if we had any 
images, and expressed his satisfaction with my reply. 
Once or twice he said, that as the holy day of Chris- 
tians differed only in being two days later in each week 
from the holy day of Mahomedans, our religions were 
almost the same ; a statement of which I could not 
avoid as often denying the truth. He took an oppor- 
tunity of ridiculing the ignorance and hypocrisy of the 
Budhist monks, and rose from his seat to mimic their 
uplifted hands, closed eyes, muttered sounds, and fre- 
quent prostrations. As he left me he said something 
about Peh-to-lo (Peter), of which I could not gather 
the meaning, but considered it to refer to the Teen- 
choo-keaou, or Roman Catholics. In reply to my in- 
quiries, I was informed there were not more than two 
or three of that sect in Ningpo. My teacher thought 
that there were more than that number, who clandes- 
tinely worshipped the Lord of Heaven, but were 
afraid of persecution. 

A few days afterwards, as I was sitting at the Mis- 



sionary Hospital, conducted on a small scale within 
the north gate of the city, a man presented himself 
for medical treatment, who had come from the neigh- 
bouring town of Tze-ke, and whom we discovered to 
be a Roman-Catholic. He had a small medal sus- 
pended from his neck, which, in reply to our question, 
he plainly said he worshipped. The medal was about 
the size of a farthing, and had on one side a represen- 
tation of the cross, with the Roman letter M (Mary), 
instead of the usual letters I H S. On the reverse 
was an image of the Virgin, surrounded by some Chi- 
nese characters. 






THE increasing violence of the heat produced in me 
such debilitating effects, that, on July 30th, I availed 
myself of the kindness of a friend, who accompanied 
me to a cool retreat on the hills, about twenty-one 
miles distant, where there was a large Budhist Monas- 
tery. The regulations established at Ningpo re- 
specting the boundaries are those of locality and not 
of time. The scene of our intended visit c was com- 
prised within the limits of the district, in which 
foreigners are permitted to roam ; so that we were 
not restricted by any necessity of returning to Ningpo 
within any given day, or even any number of days. 
We set out at 8 P.M., in a boat covered over 
on the top. After proceeding up the river on the 
eastern side of the city, about half a mile, we were 
detained some time at a barrier separating the river 
from a canal, which we had to enter. Here we landed, 
and remained on the bank, while six Chinese were 



engaged in slowly winding round, by means of a 
clumsily-contrived capstan, the rope which was at- 
tached to the boat. In this manner they gradually 
drew it up over an inclined plane, from the top of 
which it was easily launched, by its own weight, two 
or three feet into the canal on the other side. On the 
whole, it was a good substitute for a lock. The 
clamour and scolding of our men, who assisted in 
hauling our boat the next few miles, effectually pre- 
vented our obtaining any rest from sleep. The bridges 
were numerous, and at not a few of them our impe- 
tuous haulers, heedless of the vociferating cautions of 
the boatmen, brought our mast into contact with the 
arch, and precipitated both the mast and the towing- 
line into the water. At one point we were hailed by 
some soldiers at a watch-station, when our boy held 
up my companion's lantern, inscribed with his title 
and office, as a proof of our respectability, and we 
were allowed to pass on. About 1 A.M. we arrived 
at the terminus of the canal, from which our route lay 
over the hills. We had to wait for two hours till 
chair-bearers and luggage-carriers could be procured, 
at this unseasonable hour of the night, from a neigh- 
bouring village. At last, after marshalling our retinue 
of followers in a long shed, in which was a strange 
idol of some female divinity, we set out for our desti- 
nation, the woodland hills of Teen-Tung. Our chairs 
were very simple contrivances, consisting merely of 
two bamboo-poles, joined together by a small cross- 
pole at either end and in the middle. A small board, 
suspended by two pieces of cord from the central part, 
answered the purpose of a seat; and a cross-stick, 
similarly suspended still lower before it, served as a 


rest for the feet. The cross-pole, which connected the 
bamboos in the middle of their length, answered also 
the purpose of a rest for the back. We set out on our 
ascent over the hills, each of us borne on the shoulders 
of two sturdy Chinese villagers on these simple vehi- 
cles, which enabled us to see the country and to catch 
the breeze. For about three miles our path lay over 
a beautiful country, as far as we could catch a glimpse 
of its general features by the star-light, leading us by 
a gradual ascent to the top of a high hill. On one 
side was an old half-dilapidated pagoda, and on the 
other a Budhist temple, with three priests. The bell 
of the latter was sounding for their idolatrous matins, 
as we halted to rest in an adjoining building, which 
served as a public place of rest. From this point we 
descended along a causeway, which was regularly 
paved, and divided into steps to facilitate the descent. 
On either side, as the approach of dawn enabled us to 
gain a clearer view of the country, the hills, covered 
with coppices of bamboo and fir-trees, bore, in many 
parts, the appearance of an English rural scene. Two 
miles of valley stretched before us from the bottom of 
the hill, containing little village homesteads, with a 
rivulet here and there murmuring in its passage over 
the pebbly channel. Rice-fields occupied the space 
between the hills on our right and left, little temples, 
ancestral tombs, and arches, lending also a variety to 
the scene. At the end of the valley we entered a long 
winding avenue of tall trees, which cast their sombre 
shade around us, preparing our mind for the mystic 
retreats which superstition here holds out, in all the 
stillness of solitude, to its votaries. On three sides, 
lofty hills, clad with verdant foliage to their summit 


hemmed in the view. Fish-ponds on the left, covered 
with water-lilies and lotus-flowers, found an outlet for 
their pent-up waters in a little cascade on the right. 
A deep ravine intimated the violence with which this 
mountain-torrent, at certain seasons of the year, rolls 
down its impetuous waters. The trees were some of 
them nearly two feet in diameter ; and were in some 
places occupied by an idol, for the reception of which 
an opening had been made into the bark. Suddenly 
the beautiful assemblage of temples, in all their ro- 
mantic novelty, burst upon our view, with the gaudily- 
painted roofs, and fantastically-carved ridges. We 
passed over the large outer approach, with its spa- 
cious piece of water, into the principal entrance, from 
which courts in succession opened before us into other 
quadrangles of temples. After exploring the various 
parts of the monastery in the hope of finding suitable 
quarters, we at length fixed our lodging in a couple 
of rooms usually set apart for visitors, into which our 
luggage was promptly conveyed. 

We had not been there many minutes before we 
were waited on by a mmiber of the priests in succes- 
sion, to congratulate us on our arrival, and possibly to 
congratulate themselves on the probable addition to 
their perquisites. After a temporary rest, we went to 
pay our respects to the abbot, who received us with 
great politeness, and invited us to be seated. As we 
came upon him unexpectedly, he watched for an 
opportunity of slipping out of the room, and soon 
returned with a more dignified priestly robe. He 
told us that he was fifty-four years of age, and a native 
of one of the distant provinces ; that the monastery 
over which he presided was founded in the time of 


the Chin dynasty ; and that the abbot was elected 
every three years. He asked me my age and my 
country. In reference to the latter, he first asked me 
if I was a Spaniard. He then inquired if I was an 
English Mandarin ; and on my replying in the nega- 
tive, asked me my object in coming to China. I told 
him that I had come as a chuen keaou, or " propagator 
of religion." He then asked me if I came to China as a 
chuen hwui-hwui keaou, or " propagator of the Maho- 
medan religion." On my saying that I came to pro- 
pagate the religion of Jesus, he again, after a little 
consideration, inquired if my religion was the same as 
the teen-choo keaou, or " religion of the Lord of 
Heaven." After his curiosity had in some degree 
been satisfied, the abbot, in his turn, replied to my 
inquiry respecting the origin and object of this mo- 
nastic institution. He said that it was founded in 
order that people might retire thither and make their 
hearts good. I told him that our religious doctrines 
could make a man's heart good, and begged him to 
accept some of our sacred books. He received some 
tracts, and a copy of one of the gospels. I presented 
him also with a Christian Almanac, containing several 
maps, which furnished a theme of great interest, and 
led me to explain to him the relative sites of Britain 
and America, and the extensive possessions of the 
former in different parts of the world. Before the 
close of our interview, the abbot assented, with appa- 
rent readiness, to the proposal of my coming to reside 
some time in the monastery before the end of the 

After leaving the abbot's apartments, we proceeded 
to make a more minute survey of the different parts 


of the monastery. In one of the courts, a number of 
men were engaged in drying in the sun many hundred 
volumes of books. Near this place we observed the 
library ; and in a little room close by we met a soli- 
tary student, who was so absorbed in his subject, that 
he only took a glance at us for a few moments, and 
then pursued his studies, so as to be again apparently 
lost to a consciousness of external things. More than 
a hundred priests dwell in the temple. The greater 
portion of these monks are either brought to the 
temple in childhood, by their needy relatives, or have 
been driven to find an asylum within its walls, by 
their poverty or crime, in later years. The priests 
themselves acknowledged to me that this was often 
the case. One old priest, above eighty years of age, 
told me that those priests, who came from a dis- 
tance, had almost invariably fled from their home on 
account of crime. Here these wretched specimens of 
humanity live together in idleness. No community of 
interest, no ties of social life, no objects of generous 
ambition, beyond the satisfying of those wants which 
bind them to the cloister, help to diversify the mono- 
tonous current of their daily life. Separated by a 
broad line of demarkation from the rest of society 
and bound by vows to a life of celibacy and asceti- 
cism, they are cut off from the ordinary enjoyments 
of one world, without any well-founded hope of 
a better life. The greater part of these wretched 
men saunter about with an idiotic smile and vacant 
look, and appear little removed in intellect above the 
animal creation. Only a few seem raised by mental 
culture above the generality, and exhibit a refinement 
of mind and manner. It is probable that some of 


these have been driven to seek solace in this retreat 
from the sorrows of life, or from the anguish of re- 
morse. By means of self-righteous asceticism they 
hope to be delivered from the grosser elements which 
form the compound being, man ; and to be assimi- 
lated to, and at length finally absorbed into, the im- 
material substance of the holy Budh. For this pur- 
pose they abstain from animal food, and repeat their 
daily routine of O-me-tofuh, till the requisite amount 
of purity and merit has been gained, and the more 
devout are enabled to revel in the imaginary paradise 
of absorption, or, in other words, of annihilation. 
This is the grand hope of Budhism : this is the only 
stimulus to present exertion which it offers. The 
material part of man is to be purged away ; and, after 
transmigration through certain stages of animal life, 
more or less numerous in proportion to the guilt or 
merit of the individual, the soul is at last taken into 
the deity, and becomes a part of Budh himself. How 
glorious, in the contrast with such meagre hopes, are 
the substantial realities which the Gospel reveals ! 
1 John iii. 1 3. 

In the evening we proceeded, in chairs, about three 
miles across the fields, and over some of the woods, to 
a temple called Seaou Teen-Tung. This, and some 
other temples which we visited, were out-stations of 
the monastery, with a few resident priests, who had 
their daily allowance from the mother institution. In 
one of them we were shown the burial-place of the seve- 
ral abbots of the monastery. In every place which we 
visited the priests brought us some peculiar tea, grown 
in the neighbourhood, of a rare and expensive kind. 
They were very anxious to cultivate an acquaintance. 


and to receive books. The scenery of the country 
over which we returned to the monastery was very 
picturesque. Little hills and valleys alternately suc- 
ceeded each other, with their busy population quietly 
pursuing, on all sides, their work of daily toil. At every 
point the inmates of each house, male and female, old 
and young, ran out to see the strangers, and, in most 
instances, welcomed us with good-natured smiles. In 
one place the path was so narrow and precipitous, 
that one false step of the bearers, or breaking of the 
bamboo-poles which supported our weight, would 
have thrown us above one hundred feet into the 
ravine below. We arrived at our lodging in the 
monastery, having every reason to be pleased with the 
population and the beautiful scenery of the villages 
which we had explored. 

At an early hour on the next morning, the abbot 
and the superintending priest from Seaou Teen-Tung 
returned our call, and sat for some time with us, till 
they discovered that we had not yet taken our morn- 
ing meal ; when they left, with many apologies for 
their early intrusion. In the course of the day one of 
the priests, who wore a rosary, which attracted my no- 
tice, in a very gracious manner presented it to me. 
Being afterwards afraid that he should receive no pre- 
sent from me in return, beyond the books I gave him, 
he paid me a visit at a later hour of the day, and exhi- 
bited many symptoms of anxiety. He told my boy that 
it had cost him 1000 cash, and had been purchased at 
Nanking. One little priest, about nine years old, 
seemed to be a pet of the abbot. He looked forward, 
with ardent expectation, 'to the age of sixteen, when 
he would have his head entirely shaven, and be 


inducted into the full privileges of the priesthood. 
He soon began to attach himself to our party ; and, as 
he possessed much vivacity and intelligence, we had 
him continually with us, deeming it necessary, how- 
ever, to keep a good watch over any articles of our 
property within his reach, which he begged for most 

Before the sun was high, we took a morning ride, 
in our chairs, to the neighbouring village of Teen- 
tung-keae. We sat some time in a school, among 
master and pupils. The former took from a box a 
European print, for us to examine, which he seemed 
highly to prize. The drawing was a representation 
of the Prince Consort of the British Queen. The seen- 
sang said that it was an Englishman who had given 
him the picture which he so much valued ; and beyond 
this he had no knowledge of the donor. 

In the evening we set out on our return to the city 
of Ningpo. After two hours we arrived at the canal, 
and, embarking in our boat, reached the barrier which 
leads into the river at Ningpo about the hour of mid- 
night. Here we were delayed till sunrise by a strong 
gale of wind. Soon after daylight we left the boat, 
and proceeded in chairs through the military exer- 
cising-ground to a floating bridge of boats, over which 
we had to pass to the city. This bridge consisted of 
a series of long platforms, or stages, each resting on 
two boats, and joining, by a few moveable planks, to 
the next platform, similarly supported, forming alto- 
gether a distance of 150 yards across. After crossing 
this bridge, and passing along a street a few hundred 
yards in the suburbs, we entered the city by the 


eastern gate ; and in a few minutes I arrived at my 

A few days after my return from Teen-Tung, I 
visited the Ching-wang meaou, the principal temple of 
the city, at which the Mandarins are accustomed, at 
the commencement and in the middle of each month, 
to assemble for a formal invocation of the tutelary 
divinities of the place. The idols were exquisitely 
adorned, and the various courts, into which I was suc- 
cessively ushered, gave an air of splendour to these 
establishments. This temple, as also the two temples 
of Confucius, to which I thence directed my course, 
had a large space of ground attached, with ornamental 
ponds and bridges. A few venerable Chinese were 
sitting in various parts of these retreats from busy 
life, apparently absorbed in the recollection of by- 
gone years. In the lesser temple of Confucius a num- 
ber of tablets, in trios, were hung round the principal 
hall, in place of the usual triads of idols. The only 
image was that of Confucius, which represented the 
sage as a man of venerable aspect, with white hair 
and flowing beard, wearing a square black cap, and 
holding in his hand a small wooden tablet, which was 
inscribed with some mystic characters. A pot of 
incense-ashes lay before the image, the remains of 
some recent offering. In the larger of the temples, 
devoted to the memory of the sage, which was situated 
near the Salt Gate, no image of any kind was to be 

About this time I paid occasional visits to a 
Siamese junk lying in the river, off the east gate of 
the city. On my boarding her, several groups of Chi- 


nese were observed, chiefly engaged in gambling and 
smoking. The vessel had three masts, and a spacious 
poop, with a cabin below, into which I was conducted. 
The captain and supercargo were the only Siamese 
connected with the vessel, which was said to belong 
to the king of Siam, though manned by Chinese 
sailors. The two Siamese were on shore when I 
visited the vessel. The cargo consisted of Brazil 
wood for dyeing, cocoa-nuts, and the general produce 
of the Straits of Malacca. At the end of the cabin, an 
altar, gaily decked out with gilt ornaments, furnished 
an instance of the widely-extended empire of super- 
stition. At the period of my last visit, before em- 
barking for Chusan, I took with me a carefully- 
assorted package of tracts, which I hoped might even- 
tually find their way to the kingdom of Siam. On my 
appearing on the deck, two Chinese were engaged in 
folding some gilt paper into the shape of Sycee bul- 
lion, and making other preparations for offerings to 
an idol placed before the poop. I proceeded to the 
work of distribution, and found several able and will- 
ing at once to peruse the books. The two Chinese 
soon began to beat gongs, and to burn the gilt paper 
before the idol, which was a signal for the whole crew 
to assemble on the spot. After the completion of 
some superstitious observances, they separated into 
little groups, for their principal meal, in different 
parts of the deck. The principal gong-beater pa- 
tiently bore the interruption caused by my remon- 
strance, while his whole manner showed, amid this 
outward display of offerings, how feeble was the real 
hold of idolatry on his mind. On many such occa- 
sions, the entire absence of any indication of anger 


at having their prejudices shocked by a solitary 
foreigner could not but leave the general impression, 
that it is the force of custom, rather than a sense of 
the supernatural, which renders the practice of ido- 
latry popular among the Chinese. 






IT may be convenient in this place to subjoin a general 
description of the city of Ningpo, and the character 
of its inhabitants, to the irregular accounts to be 
gathered from the preceding journal. Ningpo is 
situated in north latitude 29 55', and in east longi- 
tude 121 22' ; and contained, in former times, a Euro- 
pean factory, which was brought to a termination 
by the violent excesses of the foreigners, and the 
growing jealousy of the Chinese. It is the capital 
city of a foo or department of that name, and is 
situated in the province of Che-keang, of which the 
principal city is Hang- chow, distant about eighty 
miles in a north-west direction. At the latter place 
the governor of the province resides, who is subordi- 
nate to the tsung-tuh or viceroy of the united pro- 
vinces of Che-keang and Fokeen. Foo-chow, the 


capital of the latter province, is the seat of the vice- 
regal government. Thus three of the five consular 
ports in China, viz. Ningpo in Che-keang, and Foo- 
chow and Amoy in Fokeen, are comprised in the 
government of the same viceroy. The local govern- 
ment of Ningpo consists of a taou-tai, who, at the pre- 
sent time, is a Mandarin of the third rank, and a 
native of Nanking, named Ching che-ke. His govern- 
ment may, for convenience of terms, be denominated 
a prefecture, and includes, in addition to the depart- 
ment of Ningpo, those also of Shaou-hing and Tai- 
chew, situated respectively about sixty miles to the 
west and south of Ningpo. 

The second magistrate in importance and power is 
the che-foo, whose authority extends over the depart- 
ment of Ningpo alone. The present che-foo is Le 
shoo-ling, a native of Shantung province, and an 
officer of the fourth class. Each foo or department, 
also, is subdivided into a certain number of keen or 
minor districts, each of which is governed by a sub- 
ordinate municipal officer named the che-heen. This 
officer has two co-adjutors or deputies, respectively 
called the tso-tang and yew-tang (literally, the "left 
hall" and the "right hall"); the former being superior, 
and occupying the hall on the left side of the courts 
of justice, which side is the place of honour among 
the Chinese. As the department of Ningpo contains 
six districts, there are, in addition to the che-heen or 
district-magistrate of Ningpo Proper, those also of 
Tze-ke, Fung-fava, Teang-san, Chin-hai, and Ting-hai 
the capital of Chusan. The present che-heen of Ningpo 
is a native of Fokeen, and an officer of the fifth class, 
named Yih-kwan. So complete in all its detailed 



ramifications is the organization of police, which 3000 
years of national cohesion have consolidated into the 
present system. The civil Mandarins are never pro- 
moted to the government of a district of which they 
are natives. They can seldom speak the dialect of 
the place which they govern, and are compelled, 
therefore, to employ an interpreter. From this 
diversity of local dialects has arisen the general pre- 
valence of the dialect of the imperial capital, as the 
common medium of intercourse between the officers 
of government throughout the Empire. The nominal 
stipend of the Mandarins is small, and has given rise 
to many abuses in the existence of bribes and extor- 
tions, by which they contrive to raise themselves to a 
scale of affluence commensurate with their rank.* 
Many of them are, nevertheless, poor, and the furniture 
of their houses is generally of an inexpensive kind. 

The events of the British war brought disgrace and 
ruin on the Mandarins who were then in power. The 
deposed taou-tai, Loo ta-laou-yay, was with difficulty 

* Stipends of Mandarins, according to information derived from 
two independent sources. 



tsung-tuh. . 1 2,000 taels a year 




3000 . 

taou-tai . 
che-foo. . . 


che-foo . . 

. 500 taels a month 



A tael is equal to about 6s. 3d. sterling. The above probably 
includes some fees in addition to stipend actually paid from the 
Government. Making an allowance for the difference in the value 
of money, we may regard the highest stipend as equal to ^10,000 
a-year in England. 



saved from capital punishment by the petition of the 
inhabitants, and was appointed, after degradation from 
all his honours and emoluments, to assist the present 
taou-tai in his civic duties. He is, however, slowly re- 
covering the imperial favour, has been already partially 
restored to his former honours, and is likely to become 
the che-heen of Ting-hai, on the cession of Chusan by 
the British. The deposed che-foo, Shoo laou-yay, has 
not been so fortunate. He has been deprived of all his 
honours, and is compelled, as a penalty for his cowar- 
dice in fleeing from the city on the approach of the 
British troops, to serve in the subordinate post of 
superintendant of the repairs of the city wall. The 
deposed che-heen, Hwang laou-yay, was still more 
severely punished, being banished into the cold coun- 
try in hopeless exile. 

The character of the inhabitants is a favourable 
specimen of the Chinese population. In their inter- 
course with foreigners they generally evince a re- 
spectful and friendly manner. It is, however, palpably 
evident, to the most cursory observer, that fear is the 
principal feeling which influences them in their de- 
meanour towards the Western strangers. Between the 
consular officers and the civic magistrates there has 
hitherto existed but little intercourse. This doubtless 
arises, in some degree, from the fact, that the Consu- 
late is situated outside the city, and on the opposite 
side of the river ; so that natural impediments exist 
to the frequent intercourse which exists in some of the 
other consular cities of China. The events of the 
late war also entailed so much disaster on the native 
authorities, that their successors appear to make it 
their grand aim to prevent a recurrence of hostilities, 


by seeking to avoid, as much as possible, all opportu- 
nities of intercourse and occasions of collision with 
foreigners. The people seem to entertain similar 
feelings, and to regard the British as persons who are 
not to be dealt with on the ordinary rules of social in- 
tercourse, but to be disarmed of their formidable cha- 
racter by the arts of management and adroitness. It is 
not strange that this feeling has been excited, so detri- 
mental to an exalted estimate of our civilization. The 
city suffered but, little on its first capture, in 1841, by 
the troops, as no resistance was offered. The attempt 
to regain the city, by a sudden assault on the British 
of a large body of Chinese troops, changed the whole 
aspect of affairs. In the dead of night they attacked 
the British sentries at the west gate, and in large 
numbers scaled the adjacent wall. This unexpected 
attack, however, brought a destructive carnage on the 
assailants, and was the occasion of inflicting on the 
city the rigorous measures of war, which the captors 
had hitherto relaxed. The slaughter on this occasion 
was immense ; and an eye-witness relates, that, in the 
principal narrow street adjoining the scene of attack, 
piles of dead were heaped one upon another from the 
sweeping destruction of a grape-shot cannonade. After 
this time the terms of occupation were more severe. 
A per-centage was levied on the estimated value of 
property in the city, which was spared the horrors of 
an indiscriminate sacking. In spite of these adverse 
circumstances, the people are rapidly recovering from 
their panic ; and a kind word from a foreigner is gene- 
rally sufficient to ensure for him a friendly reception. 
In no part of China are the people apparently more 
alive to the influence of kindness. It is easy for a 



European living amongst them, and acting with but a 
common degree of forbearance, to overcome prejudice, 
and gradually to win a favourable opinion for himself. 
Ningpo has the reputation of being the finest city 
on the coast of China open to foreigners. Nor does 
it enjoy an inconsiderable celebrity among the Chinese 
themselves, who regard it as one of the most literary 
cities in the empire, and inferior only to Soo-chow 
and Hang-chow in the refinement and taste of the 
people. An intelligent native scholar gave me the 
following statistical information respecting the various 
classes of inhabitants, which compose the population 
of Ningpo. Of the people included within the city 
walls, he estimated four-fifths to be engaged in trade, 
merchandize, or labour. On the other hand, no less 
a proportion than one-fifth were calculated as be- 
longing to the literary class. This, however, not only 
included the graduates and candidates for literary 
promotion, but also the writers and clerks in the 
public offices. The successful aspirants to degrees 
are invested with important civil privileges, being 
subject, in most cases of a municipal nature, to the 
literary chancellor of the province, to whom they can 
appeal from the lower officers of Government, so as to 
enjoy a prescriptive right, which may, without danger 
of misapprehension, be termed " the benefit of 
clergy." In cases, also, of oppression in their 
neighbourhood, a memorial signed by the literary 
graduates exerts a considerable influence in rectifying 
abuses. A case of this kind recently occurred at 
Ningpo, in which a native, after being unjustly sub- 
jected to examination by torture, on suspicion of theft, 
was released on the petition of four keu-jin of the 


district, through whose influence the offending police 
were severely punished by the superior officers. Of 
the population in the suburbs, and on the level plain 
extending to the hills, six parts out of ten are esti- 
mated as deriving their livelihood from agriculture ; 
three parts as artisans of various kinds ; and the 
remaining tenth as consisting of fishermen and boat- 
men. The manufacture of carpets and mats furnishes 
employment to a large proportion of the people. 
The female part of the population are employed, to a 
considerable extent, in weaving cloth. If the state- 
ment which was once made by the present taou-tai 
be correct, that in Ningpo there are 100,000 houses 
and shops assessed in taxes to the Government, even a 
moderate calculation must raise the number of the 
population to nearly 400,000 persons. This, however, 
will be considered a very large estimate, when the 
extent of ground actually covered with buildings is 
considered. The city is surrounded by a wall of 
about five miles in circuitj through which there are 
six gates opening into the suburbs, or upon the river. 
They are named respectively the North, West, South, 
Spiritual Bridge, East and Salt Gates, and have 
guard-stations erected over them for soldiers. In 
some parts of the city a considerable space of ground 
is occupied by gardens and tombs. The latter are 
covered with shrubs and various species of the melon- 
tribe, which give a rural appearance to such localities 
within the walls. In the city there is an unusually 
large proportion of temples and of spacious private 
buildings. The breadth, also, and cleanliness of the 
principal streets give a favourable impression of the 
wealth and rank of the inhabitants. The comparative 


facility, however, with which houses can be rented 
within the city by foreigners, the decay of many of the 
buildings, and the non-occupation of others, furnish a 
proof that the city is rapidly losing its former splen- 
dour and consequence. It is still a place of impor- 
tance, and has a considerable trade with Hang- 
chow and Soo-chow in the interior. It has a large 
maritime trade, also, with the province of Fokeen and 
the island of Formosa, from both of which sugar and 
rice are imported. There is also an extensive trade 
with the province of Shantung. There are about 
3000 soldiers in the city, of whom 800 are cavalry. 
The greater part, however, of these consists of a local 
militia. All the civil Mandarins are of Chinese 
descent ; two of the military commandants being the 
only Manchow Tartars in authority. 

As a Missionary Station, Ningpo possesses inde- 
pendent advantages, which exist only in a modified 
degree at each of the other cities open to foreigners. 
Considered even in itself, and apart from connexion 
with other places, it presents a field of a peculiarly 
inviting character. Possessing a climate which, as at 
Shanghai, is subject to extremes of cold and heat 
the range of the thermometer extending from above 
100 to as low as 8 or 10 below the freezing point, in 
the different seasons of the year it nevertheless affords 
a reasonable prospect of salubrity to a European con- 
stitution of ordinary physical strength. The character 
of the people is such as their ignorance of the sanc- 
tions and holy precepts of the Bible would lead us to 
expect. The standard of morality is very low. There 
is a general disregard of truth and honesty in all 
cases in which the means of concealment exist. They 


are, however, a kind, peaceable, and friendly people. 
In circumstances of extraordinary provocation, their 
quarrels seldom extend to personal violence ; and the 
simple food on which they subsist, together with the 
almost universal absence of intoxication, renders them, 
even in the absence of religion, a gentle and orderly 
population. As sensual pleasure presents itself as the 
summit of human enjoyment to their minds, and 
money furnishes its .possessor with a command over 
the ordinary sources of sensual gratification, the dol- 
lars of the foreigner will be, as they ever have been, 
the great temptation, against which the integrity of 
the natives is too weak to stand. A foreigner, who 
avoids the appearance of being wealthy, is safe among 
them. Their ideas, however, of the correlative condi- 
tions of poverty and wealth differ considerably from 
our own. It is particularly necessary as, for obvious 
reasons, in other parts of the world, so, also, especially 
in China that the establishment and domestic expen- 
diture of Missionary families should be rigidly econo- 
mical ; and that every thing be avoided which is 
calculated to impress the natives with the wealth of 
the strangers. Amongst a people, to whom a few 
dollars are a great possession, it will be impossible for 
any class of Europeans to appear otherwise than rich, in 
the absence of the ordinary means of procuring a subsis- 
tence. Independently of the temptations arising from 
the poverty of the people, the most unbounded confi- 
dence may be placed in them. A foreigner may, in the 
ordinary circumstances of peace, stray alone several 
miles into the country around Ningpo ; and although 
curiosity may occasionally collect a throng, yet of gra- 
tuitous cruelty and treacherous malice the people in 


these parts evince no symptoms. They have some- 
times suffered from the overbearing conduct of indi- 
vidual foreigners. But the writer of these pages can 
state it to be his unvarying experience, that a kind 
word ever found a ready response from the natural 
feelings of the people. As a Missionary mingles with 
the good-humoured villagers of these more northern 
provinces, or holds intercourse with the more intelli- 
gent inhabitants of the cities, he, cannot but feel that 
the feeble philosophy of the natural man has here 
achieved some of its highest conquests, as far as its 
limited power can avail, in the absence of the sanc- 
tifying grace of the gospel. It is, however, a sad 
counterpart to this picture, to reflect that the people 
are living only for this world, without one defined 
idea of the future. Their prospects are bounded by 
the narrow horizon of this life. Beyond the grave, 
every thing with them is unthought of, unknown, and 
uncared for. Here, however, the Missionary of the 
cross has ready means of access to a people, who are 
free from most of the usual disquieting and contami- 
nating influences of a large European trade and an 
extensive influx of foreigners. When the local dialect 
has been acquired, there lies before him a bound- 
less field of daily Missionary work among an intel- 
ligent and well-disposed class of hearers. The 
boundary regulations are favourable, foreigners being 
permitted, without restriction as to time, to visit, or 
even reside, in any part of the keen or district of 
Ningpo. This extends on the south-west more than 
fifty miles, and on the south-east includes, within 
the limits of the port, a portion of the sea-coast, 
and the woodland hills of Teen - tung. In other 


directions, the boundaries vary from five to sixteen 

The advantages of Ningpo may be summed up in a 
few words of recapitulation. 

I. It affords a promising sphere of quiet Missionary 
work among a superior population, in one of the finest 
and largest cities of the empire, without the deterio- 
rating influences of an extensive trade with foreigners. 

II. It presents peculiar facilities for the planting of 
out-stations, and for making periodical visits in the 
surrounding country, as the growing exigencies of the 
Mission may hereafter render expedient. 













ON August 12th I embarked, at sunset, with a Mis- 
sionary friend and his wife for Chusan, in a native 
boat. We proceeded with the ebb-tide down the river 
before a moderate breeze, which at length died away, 
so that, at 11 P.M., we had to anchor for the night at 
the mouth of the river, off the city of Chin-hai. At 
daybreak the next morning we weighed anchor, and 
after tacking about for some hours, the wind being 
unfavourable, we arrived among the numerous islands 
which form the harbour of Chusan, and came to 
anchor among a little fleet of about 200 junks and 
boats. On my landing shortly after, I was hospitably 


received by a military friend, in whose house I re- 
mained during the whole time of my visit. 

The immediate object of my coming to Chusan was 
to try the effects of a change of air, and to obtain addi- 
tional medical advice. The weakness of my health con- 
sequently prevented my making any visits to the dis- 
tant parts of the island. I had, however, an opportunity 
of exploring, in a boat, some of the neighbouring islets 
and creeks, and of admiring the beautiful blending of 
bold mountainous scenery with the signs of fertility, 
which everywhere met the eye. The hills were co- 
vered with a loamy sandy soil, which., although scanty 
and shallow, yielded an abundant return to the indus- 
try of the cultivator. Hedge-rows, of regular form, 
rose one above another up the hill- sides, and sepa- 
rated the different crops which luxuriated on their 
bosom. There was, however, something very unna- 
tural in the appearance of European barracks and 
sentries of the red coats and muskets of British 
soldiers of the sable countenances and pliant limbs 
of the Indian sepoys and of the gay accoutrements 
of the military officers which stood out in bold relief 
from the general Chinese features of the island, and 
reminded the beholder that the flag of British law was 
waving over this Oriental spot. The people seemed 
resigned to a foreign rule ; and their merry counte- 
nances told how light was the burden of political 
care which settled on their minds. Every gate of the 
city, and several of the principal buildings, were 
occupied by sepoys, who, inferior to their British 
companions in arms, seemed to delight in the idea of 
their own superiority to the Chinese, and in occasional 
freaks of overbearing conduct. In addition to the 


Indian troops quartered in the city, nearly a thousand 
European soldiers were located in the barracks, distant 
about a mile, and adjoining the beach. The interme- 
diate space between the sea and the city of Ting-haiis 
occupied by rice-fields, which are, in certain seasons 
of the year, covered with water to the depth of six 
inches, and give a marshy appearance to the soil. 

Before my departure from Chusan I was introduced 
to M. Danicourt, a Roman-Catholic Missionary, with 
whom I had some lengthened conversation. He had 
been for ten years a professor of Latin in the Romish 
College at Macao, from which place he came to Chusan 
three years ago. In addition to his Missionary work, 
he was employed as a political agent of the French 

According to the information supplied to me by 
M. Danicourt, the Roman-Catholic Missionaries in 
China are supported, in part only, by European re- 
sources. In former times there was a fund instituted 
by Louis XIV. for the propagation of Christianity, 
from which the Missionaries in China received their 
entire support. But the troubles of the French Revo- 
lution, and the spoliation of the Romish Church by 
Napoleon, had been the means of abolishing this 
endowment. The Society for the Propagation of the 
Faith, formed twenty-three years ago, endeavoured to 
supply the loss by an annual grant of 100 dollars to 
each Missionary in China. This sum M. Danicourt 
considered to be, under ordinary circumstances, suffi- 
cient, as each Missionary itinerated in the interior 
from place to place, visiting and instructing the Ro- 
man-Catholic converts, in whose families he was a 
temporary guest. M. Danicourt said that at Chusan 


he had found this sum insufficient, on account of the 
expenses of his chapel, to which, however, the Roman- 
Catholic soldiers had assisted in contributing. He 
professed to number twenty-five native converts in 
Chusan, exclusive of two Chinese Missionaries resi- 
dent in the island. In the course of his conversation, 
he stated that the Roman-Catholic Missionaries felt 
much dissatisfaction with the Chinese Government, on 
account of the attempt to conceal the recent edict in 
favour of Christianity from the people in the interior, 
who were still exposed to vexation on account of their 
religion. The edict of toleration was so unexpected 
a departure from the antiquated policy of the Govern- 
ment, and so plain a proof of the growing influence of 
foreigners, that it is not extraordinary that the Chinese 
rulers have for the present refrained from giving 
general publicity to the document. M. Danicourt's 
opinion of the Mandarins and of the common people 
seemed not to be very high. Of the latter he said 
that they were, amid all their blandness and good 
humour, very deceitful and covetous, and that {( money 
was their god." 

An honest Romanist priest must often be stumbled 
at the similarity between the religious forms of 
Popery and those of Budhism. The existence of 
monasteries and nunneries ; the celibacy, the tonsure, 
the flowing robes, and the peculiar caps, of the 
priesthood ; the burning of incense, the tinkling of 
bells, the rosaries of beads, the sacred candles on the 
altar-tables, the intonation of services, the prayers in 
an unknown tongue, purgatory, and the offerings for 
the dead in their temples ; and above all, the titles of 
their principal goddess, " the Queen of Heaven," and 
" Holy Mother," represented by the image of a woman 


with a male child in her arms ; present features of 
mutual resemblance which must strike every candid 
mind.* Such a remarkable similarity of details, al- 
though it may facilitate a transition from Budhism to 
Popery, must occasionally give rise to perplexing com- 
parisons. This subject is sometimes regarded as so 
full of difficulties, that in former times a Romanist 

* The author is inclined to the opinion that all these details of 
similarity are purely accidental resemblances, with the exception of 
the titles of the Virgin given to their idol Kwan-yin, commonly called 
the " Goddess of Mercy." 

The hypothesis that some of the degenerate Nestorian Christians, 
who arrived in China in the seventh century of the Christian era, 
amalgamated with their faith and ceremonies the prevailing errors 
of China, and caused the priests of Budha to adopt many of their rites, 
is destitute of probability, and is disproved by the opposition of the 
Nestorian Christians to the worship of the Virgin on the arrival of 
the Portuguese in Southern India in the sixteenth century. A more 
probable hypothesis is, that, on the arrival of the Romish Missionaries 
in China, the Budhists, observing the similarity of the image of the 
Virgin Mary to their own idol the " goddess of Mercy," concluded 
that they were one and the same idol, and transferred the titles of 
" Holy Mother/' and " Queen of Heaven," to their own goddess 

This view of the question is supported by the following extract 
from a work on China by Sir John Davis, the present Governor of 
Hong Kong 

The Chinese at Canton, who are fond of finding parallels and resemblances 
of the kind, give the name of the Virgin (in conversing with Europeans) 
to their Budhist idol Kwan-yin ; and in the same way apply the name of 
Kwan-yin to the Romish idols of the Virgin. To every saint who has a 
Church at Macao they contrive to give a name, founded on some supposed analogy 
in their own idols. St. Anthony they call " the Fire God " There is nothing in 
the Catholic worship at that place, or in the character of the priests, that is 
calculated to give the Chinese a very exalted idea of this corruption of 
Christianity. In the former, they witness graven or molten images, proces- 
sions, tinkling of bells, candles, and incense, exactly resembling their own 
religious rites : in the latter, a number of ignorant and idle monks, professing 
celibacy, but with indifferent moral characters, shaving their heads and count- 
ing beads, very much after the fashion of the Budhist priests. 


Missionary declared, in the distress of his mind, that 
Budhism must have been the rival system and master- 
plot of Satan, to hinder the progress of the Christian 
faith. Whether M. Danicourt felt any perplexity in 
the matter, it was difficult to know. I was, however, 
inclined to suspect as much, from the abrupt transition 
with which he passed from previous topics of conver- 
sation to that of Budhism. His information was 
amusing, and confirmatory of some legends of which 
I had before heard. 

One of the ancient emperors of China had a re- 
markable dream, which caused him some anxiety and 
distress. He dreamt that he saw a man with a bow 
and two arrows, who was to accomplish strange 
things, and whom it was expedient to propitiate. 
Some interpreters of dreams were consulted, one of 
whom said that the man represented the character 
jin,J\^, the bow represented the character kung, IP^ ; 
and, with the addition of the two arrows, J| the 
whole symbol formed the character fuh, ^ or Budh, 
a new deity lately imported from India. Another 
division of the component parts of the character 
into the negative fuh, j^ on the right hand, andjin, 
y^a man on the left, gave the meaning, " not a man;' 
which corresponded also with another part of the 
dream, intimating his superhuman origin and power. 
The emperor then took measures for discovering the 
idol, and setting apart a number of priests to worship 
it. Hereupon a difficulty arose : the Chinese refused 
to become priests, objecting that such a course was 
opposed to the maxims of Confucius and the customs 
of the empire. Many submitted to capital punish- 
ment in preference to incurring the guilt of this im- 
piety. At last the emperor, in despair of finding 


honest men willing to undertake the priesthood, made 
proposals to a number of felons, convicted of murder, 
robbery, and other crimes. The convicts were offered 
pardon, on condition of their entering the Budhist 
temples, and consecrating themselves to the idol's 
service in different parts of the country. In order to 
prevent their subsequent escape from the temples, 
they were compelled to shave their heads entirely. 
Being thus easily known, their re-capture and punish- 
ment would be facilitated. Such, according to M. 
Danicourt, was the tradition of the Chinese, confirmed 
by some of their old writings, respecting the origin 
and degradation of this wretched class of men. 

I left Chusan on August 22d, having experienced 
during my stay great kindness from the British resi- 
dents, which was doubly acceptable under the circum- 
stances of my visit. Embarking in a Chinese sailing- 
boat, with a fair wind and favourable tide, we made a 
rapid passage to Ningpo, in a little more than seven 

During the first two nights after my return to 
Ningpo, I could get but little sleep amid the con- 
tinued sound of drums, gongs, and flutes, caused by 
the superstitious observances prevalent among the 
people on the occasion of the fang yen Jcow. This is 
the term used to denote the ceremonies performed in 
the seventh month of the Chinese year, on behalf of 
departed spirits, in order to rescue them from the 
Budhist purgatory. The rites are explained as having 
originated in the supposed misery and poverty, in the 
spiritual world, of such persons as had left behind no 
surviving offspring or relatives to make the accus- 
tomed offerings of gilt money and paper garments to 
their manes. Lanterns are hung in all directions ; 


platforms are erected and covered with provisions ; 
the hungry spirits are invited to partake of a repast ; 
and the people observe a kind of vigil. A general 
subscription of money is raised for the occasion ; and 
the sum contributed by my boy was a rupee, accord- 
ing to his own statement. The festival in honour of 
the completion of the official residence of the taou-tai, 
which had been rebuilt since the destruction of the 
public buildings in the late war, gave an additional 
eclat to the occasion. A Chinese gentleman in the 
neighbourhood had liberally supplied funds for the 
latter public work ; and was destined to receive, as 
his reward, advancement to the nominal rank of a 
Mandarin of the third class. This is the more deli- 
cate way in which public honours are now virtually 
put up for sale throughout the empire. 

The depraved class of Chinese, who had lately be- 
come tenants of the house adjoining my own, on a 
subsequent evening hired the attendance of some 
priests, who, for three or four dollars, devoted the 
whole evening to singing a number of dirges, on the 
occasion of the natal day of Te-wang, the prince of the 
infernal regions. At this period of the year popular 
superstition commemorates the release of many spirits 
from their prison below, and their temporary admis- 
sion into the upper regions, to receive the offerings of 
food, garments, and money. The melancholy chant- 
ings to the king of the infernal realms, and the of- 
ferings of food to the spirits of the dead, are supposed 
to possess the meritorious efficacy of propitiating the 
imaginary deity, and hastening the deliverance of their 
friends from destitution in the other world. On the 
latter occasion, I congratulated myself on their ter- 
minating the sound of the bells, gongs, and discor- 


dant voices, at as early an hour as that of midnight. 
Cases of similar superstition are often to be seen on 
the occurrence of sickness in a family. The inmates 
commence beating drums and gongs, and set out a 
feast, in the superstitious belief that some deceased 
member of the family is starving in the world below, 
and that, in revenge of their neglect, his spirit has 
come to feed on the body of the sick person. Hence 
they seek, by the bribe of a feast, and the intimidation 
of sounds, to expel the unwelcome author of their 
calamity. The educated Chinese are often raised 
above the influence of these vulgar terrors ; but the 
empire of superstition is almost universal. 

On August 25th I went to reside for a few days 
with two Missionary friends lodging in the Taouist 
monastery, near the north gate of the city. The room 
which served as my dormitory adjoined a large hall, 
in which worship was wont to be paid by those persons 
who were ambitious of literary honours. In another 
part of the temple were situated the different halls, in 
which the gods of the seasons, and the numerous other 
divinities of the Taou sect, were enthroned. The only 
male worshipper whom I observed, on my first visit to 
the principal hall, was one of the lay-brothers of the 
Taou sect. They form an intermediate class between 
the Taouist monks and the common people, and are 
not bound to the observance of celibacy, or a monas- 
tic life. The lay-brother was engaged in hurrying 
through a repetition of senseless words, and beating 
time on a hollow, ornamented sounding-board. He 
did not, however, seem to experience any devotional 
feeling; as, on my entrance, he arose, welcoming me 
with polite bowings, but continuing his recitations. 
The lay-brothers seek to make themselves perfect in 


the repetition of these forms, till they have obtained 
sufficient knowledge to qualify them for travelling in 
the neighbourhood, and hiring out their services on 
the various superstitious occasions, which may occur 
in private families. A friend of the lay-brother was 
waiting near, and followed us about the temple pre- 
cincts, offering many civilities, some of which betrayed 
the avaricious spirit by which he was influenced. 
The few women, who were worshipping when I 
entered, belonged to a superior class, being arrayed 
in beautiful dresses, and attended by their ammahs. 
As soon as I made my appearance, they affected great 
modesty, and, with half-turned faces and half-sup- 
pressed smiles, quietly took their departure, with as 
much haste as their tottering steps and limping gait 
permitted. During the five days of my residence in 
the temple, no Chinese were observed to come for 
worship to the quadrangle, in which our apartments 
lay. Sometimes, in the other portions of the temple, 
the gongs and monotonous voices of the priests were 
to be heard. Every morning, in an opposite garden, 
an old woman made her appearance outside her 
cottage, kneeling and uttering her customary number 
of formal repetitions, with loud and impassioned voice. 
The Taouist abbot was advanced in years, and his 
fierce and irascible temper had been somewhat sub- 
dued by the infirmities of age. Both the abbot and 
the priests were very desirous of cultivating our 
acquaintance, and sometimes rendered themselves 
unwelcome visitors to our apartments by the length 
of time during which they remained. The Taouist 
monks are less numerous, and appear to be less 
diligent in their superstitious observances, than the 


Budhist monks. They also seem to be in better 
repute with the literary class. The principal mark 
by which they may be distinguished from the Bonzes, 
is the peculiar tuft into which their hair is bound on 
the crown of the head. 

On August 28th I was accompanied by a friend 
on a visit to the flower-garden of Kang laou-yay, a 
gentleman of great wealth. He had realized a large 
fortune in the monopoly of salt, which he purchased, 
on speculation, from the Government. The payment 
for the monopoly is made to the Government in taels 
of silver; and the money received for the sale of salt, 
from the people, is paid in copper cash. But as silver is 
very scarce at the present time, and the copper cash is 
proportionably depreciated in value, the salt monopoly 
has been, of late, a source of great loss to the mono- 
polists, and some of the wealthiest salt-merchants have 
been reduced from affluence to comparative indigence. 
Kang, however, still retained some proofs of wealth, 
in the general taste and arrangements of his garden, 
the variety of his plants and flowers, and the expensive 
furniture of the rooms through which we passed. The 
imitation of rocks and caverns, though on a small 
scale, had a pretty and pleasing effect. At the end 
of a little pond, covered with the lotus-flower, there 
stood a large cage, containing a fine stork, which the 
tradition of the family stated to be above a hundred 
years old. The old gentleman himself was above 
eighty years of age, and was very deaf. He told us 
of the recent visit of an Englishman, who had begged 
so importunately for a rare flower which he possessed, 
that, though it cost him ten dollars, he had presented 
it to the foreigner. He seemed to be very dissatisfied 


with the return-present of a microscope, which, 
though a liberal recompense, he termed " a very little 
thing." As we were sitting together, a number of 
Chinese ladies were looking through a window from 
the adjoining room. The slightest glance in that 
direction was sufficient to cause them to disperse on 
either side of the apartment, till curiosity led them to 
brave another view of our foreign features, even at 
the expense of Chinese etiquette. 

After our departure from the mansion of Kang 
laou-yay, we paid our respects to a medical prac- 
titioner, named Chang, who resided on the opposite 
side of the same street. Among the various inscrip- 
tions and specimens of Chinese caligraphy, which 
adorned the rooms in which we sat, was a scroll 
which announced that the doctor possessed the re- 
quisite skill for healing a hundred diseases. In the 
British war he acted as a spy, and was the bearer of 
several semi-official messages from the Mandarins at 
Ningpo to the British at Chusan. He rendered some 
services to the latter, and contracted an acquaintance 
with several English gentlemen, whose letters and 
cards he showed satisfaction in exhibiting. The old 
man had, however, shared the usual lot of such 
persons, and was slighted both by the English, who 
resisted his rude acts of inquisitiveness, and by the 
Chinese, who regarded his patriotism with suspicion. 
His medical practice was not of a lucrative kind, 
if a judgment might be formed from the signs of 
straitened income apparent in his house. His peculiar 
department of Chinese surgery was acupuncture, by 
which he professed an ability to perform cures for 
rheumatism and similar diseases. At the time of our 


visit he was eking out his scanty means of subsistence 
by instructing three pupils, who were present in the 
room with us. Finding that I wished to visit Foo- 
chow before the close of the year, and that I ex- 
perienced much difficulty in obtaining a European 
vessel bound for that port, he was very urgent in 
advising me to go in a Fokeen junk, and volunteered 
himself to accompany me as a protector. He pro- 
posed that I should proceed from Foo-chow, in 
Chinese costume, by an overland route to Amoy, and 
volunteered his aid in effecting such an arrangement. 

As we returned to the monastery, we entered, for a 
few minutes, the shop of a native of Shantung, whom 
we discovered to be a Mahomedan, and though able 
to speak Chinese, to be ignorant of the written cha- 
racter. The whole sect appear to devote their studies 
exclusively to their own sacred language, the Arabic. 
His bold features, prominent nose, and restless eye, 
confirmed the fact of the distinct origin of this de- 
scendant of Ishmael. I always felt a sympathy with 
the poor dispersed disciples of Islam in this pagan 
wild, and regarded their denunciation of idols, and 
their worship of one God, as a comparative approxi- 
mation to our own religion in the midst of a people 
enslaved either by superstition or by atheism. It was 
a source of continual regret to my mind, that their 
ignorance of the Chinese written character prevented 
their deriving instruction from our Christian publica- 

Aug. 3Qth The houses of the foreign community at 
Ningpo being situated principally in the little suburb, 
on the opposite side of the river, I had frequent 
occasion to hire the services of some Chinese boatmen 


to take me across the river in their ferry-boats. On 
this and the preceding evenings, as I crossed the 
river, the boatmen urgently begged me to give them 
some medicine for curing them of the effects of 
smoking opium. The poor wretches betrayed, by their 
haggard looks and sickly countenances, the dreadful 
ravages which the indulgence of this destructive habit 
had produced on their constitution. They said that 
they were poor ; and, pointing to their tattered rai- 
ment and emaciated limbs, implored me to give them 
the required medicine, which they had heard that my 
countrymen possessed. They appeared to be im- 
patient of any delay, and requested me to fix a day 
for them to call at my house and receive the medicine. 
My boy told them the place of my abode, and I after- 
wards wrote a note, containing a recommendation of 
their case to a medical Missionary, who, by tonics and 
other remedies, endeavours to invigorate the constitu- 
tion against the prostrating effects on the nervous 
system, produced by the disuse of the long-accus- 
tomed stimulus. 

On Sept. 2d I went with a friend to visit the nun- 
nery adjoining my house, dedicated to the Budhist 
" Queen of Heaven " or " Goddess of Mercy." The 
literal translation of her latter title, " hearing the cries 
of the world" indicates the presence of more amiable 
attributes than most of their popular deities are repre- 
sented as possessing. Six nuns resided within the 
building, supported by an endowment and occasional 
gifts from worshippers. We remained about an hour, 
during which the old abbess served to us some sweet- 
meats and fruits, which she placed before us with her 
own hands, selecting the kinds which she deemed 


most palatable. For this we afterwards had to make 
a present, which the feast was a delicate way of ex- 
torting from us. The nuns were generally women of 
coarse manners and unprepossessing appearance. The 
abbess possessed a masculine spirit, and from time to 
time issued some command to five or six servant-men 
in the court, some of whom were engaged in cleaning 
raw cotton, and others in making garments. There 
were also two little nuns, of about four or five years 
of age, who enjoyed one compensation for their dedi- 
cation to the temple-service, in being permitted to 
possess feet of the natural size and growth. The 
dress of the nuns was very like that of a Budhist 
monk, their heads being entirely shaven, and their 
principal garment consisting of a loose flowing robe. 
The abbess wore a black silk cap over her crown, 
in the centre of which was a hole, through which 
her bare head was perceptible. As she dangled her 
rosary of beads on her arm, she made many in- 
quiries about an English Missionary, who, about two 
years ago, lodged for a month in the nunnery. At 
this time there were a few Chinese lodging in the 
building, such institutions being frequently converted 
to the purposes of an hotel. 

On our return through the Tung-mun-keae, we 
were engaged for some time in a pawnbroker's shop, 
in examining some articles of curiosity, which had 
found their way into his possession. Among these 
was an old bell, about a hundred pounds in weight, 
and having a large number of Chinese characters 
beautifully engraven on it. It gave a tolerably har- 
monious and agreeable sound, and had been brought 
hither to be pawned from a Budhist nunnery, in the 


neigbouring town of Tze-ke. There was also an- 
other article pawned from the same institution, an 
idol of the goddess of mercy, made of bronze, and 
about ten inches in height. This he wanted to sell 
for two dollars and a half. It is scarcely possible to 
stroll into the adjacent streets without meeting conti- 
nual indications of the real scepticism and atheism of 
the Chinese, amid all their apparent deference to the 
religious customs of their country. 

On Sept. 3d I went with some friends to visit the 
principal Mandarin in Ningpo, usually styled the 
taou-tai. Due notice had been given some hours pre- 
viously, and there were circumstances attending our 
visit, which insured a polite reception from his Excel- 
lency. We were borne in chairs along the streets to 
the ya-mun, or public offices, in which the taou-tai was 
then residing. As we approached the large folding- 
doors, leading into the first of a number of spacious 
courts, a gong was struck, which was immediately 
answered by other gongs and a bell from within. At 
the same time, a native piper commenced playing a 
noisy air, accompanied by a kind of cymbal, to do 
honour to us as we passed. As door opened within 
door, we saw signs of bustle and activity among the 
numerous attendants, till our sedan-chairs were set 
down on a pavement at the bottom of a little flight of 
steps leading into a vestibule. Here the great man, 
Ching ta jin, descended to welcome us ; and after a 
good deal of bowing and other salutations, we were 
conducted to a reception-hall, where we were invited 
to take our seats. But preliminary matters of etiquette 
had to be settled, which occupied some time. The 
taou-tai would not occupy the highest seat on the left 


side, the place of honour; and the members of our 
little party affected like humility. One pressed the 
other, and tried to lead him into the uppermost seat, 
which gentle attempt the other as gently resisted. 
Under ordinary circumstances this would have been 
fatiguing ; but in the excessive heat of the summer it 
was doubly irksome : and matters were at last abruptly 
brought to a satisfactory adjustment by one of our 
party coolly occupying the highest seat, and thus ter- 
minating the debate. One of our friends was a fluent 
speaker of Chinese, and acted as our spokesman. The 
taou-tai's cap of authority, which was ornamented with 
the usual knob or button of a light blue colour, indi- 
cating his rank as being of the third of the nine orders 
of Mandarins, was now taken from his head, and handed 
to an attendant, who placed it in a conspicuous part 
of the room. Soon after, another servant came at his 
bidding to assist in removing his upper garment of 
blue silk ; and as, notwithstanding the heat, we had 
paid his Excellency the compliment of appearing in 
woollen coats, we gladly availed ourselves of his invi- 
tation to put off the incumbrance, and sat during the 
rest of our visit in our shirt-sleeves. The room did 
not afford the signs of any great wealth in the pro- 
prietor, the furniture being simple and substantial, 
rather than elegant. A number of servants were 
standing outside, and sometimes, in their eagerness to 
see and listen, pressed around the door. A wave of 
the hand from their master once or twice seemed to 
remove them to a little distance on either side. But 
when he subsequently sat so as to have his back to- 
wards them, they quietly returned, and their number 
was increased by the addition of several others eager 


to satisfy their curiosity. After we had taken tea, the 
signs of preparation for a morning collation were ap- 
parent in the various dishes brought and set out on a 
table in the centre of the room. On the announce- 
ment being made that all was ready, the same cere- 
mony and delay as to precedence took place. The 
taou-tai took his seat at the lowest end of the table. 
As our meal proceeded, he reverted to former topics, 
especially to our literary degrees. As I had been in- 
troduced as a literary teacher, he now inquired what 
literary degree in my own country I had attained. 
My friend very inconsiderately replied that I was the 
same as a tsin-sze, i. e. the second of the four Chinese 
literary degrees, to which Chin ta jin had himself at- 
tained. The taou-tai then commenced congratulating 
me on the felicity of my lot in getting literary promo- 
tion at so early an age. He proceeded to take a strict 
survey of my physiognomy, and made some remarks 
on my personal appearance. At last, fortunately for 
our preservation of gravity, the conversation was led 
to the subject of literary examinations and degrees in 
China, on which he was very lengthened in his obser- 

Meanwhile we endeavoured to do honour to the 
dishes, which in rapid succession were placed before 
us, our host helping us from each dish with the chop- 
sticks with which he himself was eating. A kind of 
spirit, distilled from rice, was poured out into small 
cups and saucers and placed before us. Deference 
had been paid to our foreign palates, and, in addition 
to the usual routine of Chinese dainties, small slices 
of ham, beef, duck, and fowl were served on the table. 
Plovers' eggs, nuts, sweetmeats, formed also portions of 


our repast. Our host continually watched our saucers, 
and replenished them from time to time with what he 
deemed the choicest morsels. Once or twice we ven- 
tured to act on our own choice, and to taste some of 
the unknown dishes ; but we quickly came to the de- 
cision that it was better to trust to his selection. At 
last we were tired with the number of dishes, which 
one after another made their appearance. But it was 
to no purpose that he was informed that we had eaten 
a sufficient quantity. He begged to assure us that 
the repast would soon be over ; and our apologies for 
occasioning him so much expense only made him in- 
sist more rigorously on our remaining till the end. 

During this time an animated discussion took place 
on the subject of foreign customs. He again reverted 
to the subject of my literary degree, and inquired my 
family name. This was altered to suit the Chinese 
sounds, and written Sze-mei. He then asked my per- 
sonal name, which he tried in vain to pronounce, say- 
ing it took four Chinese characters to write it. He 
made several ineffectual attempts to catch the sound 
George, changing it to Jih-ah-le-jih. At last, in despair 
of mastering the outlandish sounds, he ceased from 
the attempt, and, falling back into his large chair, gave 
a hearty prolonged laugh. Then he inquired of my 
friend respecting the koo-wan, or ancient classical lite- 
rature of our country. This led to his being informed 
of the gradual improvement of our native tongue 
the comparatively recent date of English literature 
the stores of ancient learning imported from Greece 
and Rome the prevalence of Latin as the general me- 
dium of communication between the literati of Europe 
and the different races who successively peopled 


Britain. To all these topics he listened with atten- 
tion, bringing frequent illustrations from similar events 
in the history of China. He afterwards inquired 
about some European country, by a name which we 
had never before heard. On our further listening to 
his pronunciation of the word, we discovered the name 
to be a strange combination of sounds, intended for 
Denmark. Afterwards the current of topics flowed 
to America and its twenty-six States ; the separation 
of the United States from Britain in the last century ; 
their common descent and language ; their commer- 
cial rivalry and political emulation ; the number of 
annual emigrants from Britain to America ; the pro- 
cess of clearing away forests and preparing the soil 
for cultivation ; the enterprising character of Ameri- 
can merchants ; and the political supremacy of Bri- 
tain. He made some inquiries respecting the causes 
of emigration, and of the willingness of the British 
merchants to come to so distant a country as China. 
He continually responded, sometimes giving a hearty 
laugh, and not in the slightest degree affecting an 
appearance of gravity. He mentioned his having 
been formerly sent on a special mission by the Chi- 
nese Government to the country of Mongolia, and 
spoke of the cold temperature and the forests as pro- 
bably resembling those of America. 

At length, after many unavailing attempts to rise 
from the table, which he as often prevented, we were 
enabled to make preparations for our departure. 
During our stay of more than an hour, he showed us 
the usual marks of politeness and courtesy. As his 
jurisdiction extended over three of the eleven depart- 
ments, into which the province of Che-keang is 


divided, he was an officer of some consequence, and 
ruled a territory as large as Scotland. He was appa- 
rently about fifty-six years of age, and his manners 
were commanding and graceful. In spite of our re- 
monstrance, he insisted on accompanying us to our 
sedans, and we took our departure with the same 
ceremony, and amid the same noise of piping and 
gongs, as greeted us on our entrance. 

Our next visit was to the deposed taou-tai, Loo ta- 
laou-yay. We passed through a long covered area, 
filled with tables and benches, which, in my ignorance, 
I conjectured to be intended for some public feast. I 
soon, however, ascertained that this was the literary 
examination-hall, where 900 candidates for the sew-tsai 
degree could be accommodated at one time with seats 
and materials for writing their themes. At the other 
end was situated the temporary but elegant apartments 
assigned to the disgraced officer. He received us 
with smiles of good-humoured politeness, and with at 
least the semblance of cordiality. Here how different 
a scene lay before us ! The cloud of sorrow which 
saddened his features, and the dark gloom which 
hovered over his spirits, proclaimed the misfortunes of 
the deposed ruler, whose hand, in the golden hour of 
prosperity, all would have hastened to greet ; but who 
now, beneath the frown of imperial displeasure, was 
condemned to assume the cares, without the honours 
or emoluments, of civic authority. His only crime 
was the love of life. On the approach of a conquer- 
ing enemy, he joined in the universal flight of the 
citizens. Not being a military Mandarin, he could 
have offered no successful resistance by awaiting the 
national foe. Nevertheless, in the judgment of the 


Emperor, he ought to have fallen at his post ; and in 
order to deter the Mandarins from a similar betrayal 
of their trust, Loo ta-laou-yay had been stript of his 
rank and office, and, amid a band of faithful attendants, 
mourned in secret over his humiliation and fall. He 
wore a knob of white, the decoration of the sixth class 
of Mandarins, having, since the peace, been restored 
to a portion of his former honours. His age exceeded 
sixty years, and his form stooped a little beneath 
the weight of his afflictions. He is reported to pos- 
sess private wealth, and to be no longer desirous of 
restoration to political power, which, however, the 
approaching cession of Chusan by the British is said 
to render probable. He was greatly superior to the 
ruling taou-tai in knowledge and intelligence ; and 
tried to look cheerful in the animated conversation 
which ensued. His laugh, however, was less hearty, 
and his manner possessed less of vivacity. His pri- 
vate worth and public integrity may be inferred 
from the petition of the inhabitants, by whose exer- 
tions alone he was released from impending capital 
punishment. The eight years of gratuitous service, 
imposed on him by the Emperor, were nearly half 
accomplished ; and his probable restoration, after 
this probation, to his former office would be hailed 
with universal satisfaction by the people. The Im- 
perial Government of China is fickle in its bestowal 
of favours, and severe in its infliction of penalties. 
Old Loo is therefore perhaps more happy in his 
present position than in the dangerous elevation of 
magisterial power. Here most of the scenes recurred 
which took place at the taou-tai's. A luncheon was 
again set out, of which we partook for the sake of 


civility. Every five minutes an attendant brought a 
water-pipe, through the gurgling tube of which Loo 
inhaled the fumes of tobacco, emitting them from his 
mouth and nostrils with ludicrous composure. The 
only thing, that ruffled the calm serenity of his coun- 
tenance, was our inexperience in the use of the chop- 
sticks. He entered into conversation on the topic of 
foreign coinage, and the mode of assaying silver, in 
gathering the particulars of which, as well as the re- 
lative value of the several kinds of dollars, he was 
very particular. The mention of Mexican and Peru- 
vian dollars led to the subject of Spain and her early 
conquests in South America. Beyond the occasional 
recollection of names, both he and the taou-tai seemed 
to possess scarcely any geographical knowledge of 
Western nations. All appeared to them one great 
wild of unknown regions ; and they seemed to remem- 
ber only a few names of countries, strangely altered 
and adapted to the monosyllabic poverty of the Chi- 
nese language. We passed an hour very pleasantly 
with Loo ta-laou-yay. He attended us, with the usual 
marks of civility, to our chairs on our departure. 
Here I felt, in much of their sad reality, the evils of 
war, and the calamities which it inflicts. The country 
of the men, whom he now honoured as his guests, 
had been the occasion of his ruin and disgrace. The 
outward show of respect, with which he received our 
visit, must have been utterly at variance with the in- 
ward feelings of his heart. The cases of individual 
suffering, which the British war has inflicted on many 
thousands of innocent victims in the Central Provinces 
of China, render the precious boon of Christianity a 
debt doubly due from Britain to this benighted land. 






THE heat at Ningpo being still very oppressive, I 
was again under the necessity of seeking a cooler tem- 
perature, in the hilly region which skirts the plain of 
Ningpo. Accordingly, on September 15th I set out 
on my second visit to the monastery of Teen-tung, 
accompanied only by my Chinese boy. I was carried 
in a chair, about a mile and a half through the city, 
to a retired part of the eastern suburbs. Here, on a 
little lake, entirely surrounded by shops and warehouses, 
was the boat which was engaged to convey me and my 
boy, with a few articles of provision, towards our 
place of destination. As soon as I made my appear- 
ance, the boatman became excited, and was quickly 
involved in a quarrel with my boy. On discovering 
that the boat was hired to convey a foreigner, the 



boatman wanted to raise the sum agreed upon between 
him and my boy some hours before, when no men- 
tion had been made by the latter that his master was a 
foreigner. A long and angry altercation ensued be- 
tween them, and a crowd was soon attracted towards 
the spot in which we were. To a person unacquainted 
with the Chinese temperament, the danger of a serious 
personal encounter between them would have ap- 
peared imminent ; but their excited gestures and 
impassioned tones were carefully restrained within 
the limits of caution, and no assault was committed. 
As soon as this preliminary difficulty was overcome, 
we proceeded along the canal, amidst a multitude of 
boats laden with people, who were bringing vegetables 
and provisions to market. These canals are the only 
mode of transit, for heavy commodities, from one part 
of the country to another. About a mile from the 
city the country begins to assume a very pretty ap- 
pearance, and to the native mind presents many asso- 
ciations of interest and awe in the multitude of tombs, 
which enshrine the remains of their forefathers. We 
passed a number of sze tang, or "ancestral halls," some 
of which belonged respectively to the Cheang, the 
Woo, the E, the Ju, and the Sze families. These 
various clans reside within the city, and have a com- 
mon right to the ancestral halls, in which the tablets, 
commemorative of their departed ancestors, are 
ranged in order according to their generations. Little 
temples continually succeeded each other every mile, 
with two or three Bonzes sauntering about the en- 
trance. A bag, fastened to a long pole, so as to reach 
to the boats which were passing by, was held out from 
some of the temples, in order to receive the offerings 


of the devout. Every boat contributed a few copper 
coins to the sacred bag for the idol, on receiving 
which the agents of the institution commenced sound- 
ing a gong, by way of celebrating their offerings. In 
each of the bags I deposited, as my gift, a few Chris- 
tian books on the sin of worshipping idols. The peo- 
ple in the suburbs were very desirous of receiving 
books, and followed the boat some time after I ceased 
from distributing them. One man, in his anxiety to 
catch a book, lost his balance, and fell into the canal. 

We soon passed from the suburbs into the open 
country, which was covered with crops of rice and 
other grain. But here agricultural scenes were some- 
what different from those in other lands. Instead of 
the fresh breezes of autumn, and the inhalations of the 
pure country air, the rice-fields and gardens gave 
forth most offensive odours, caused by the ma- 
nure with which the ripening crops were covered. 
Boats passed and re-passed, laden with this disa- 
greeable cargo. Not a particle of refuse is lost by 
this people, who place large jars and vessels in every 
corner of their villages to receive these seeds of fer- 
tility and wealth. It is by a system of manure and 
irrigation that the poorest soils are forced, year after 
year, to produce two annual crops, sustaining an 
amount of population which few other countries could, 
in their present state, support. The economy of soil 
everywhere perceptible, combined with the fact of 
the early age at which every person is married, give 
probability to the largest estimate of the population of 

As we approached the terminus of the canal, the 
usual signs of a village holiday were visible, in the 

Q 2 


approach of two boats, which were either preparing for 
a race to contest their relative speed, or about to per- 
form some act of traditionary superstition. Each boat 
was manned by twenty men, who bore paddles gaudily 
ornamented with paint, and were decked out in a 
fancy costume, with colours and dress to distinguish 
their boats. A man stood upright beating a drum, 
to the time of which they adapted their strokes. 

The bridges were very numerous, and generally 
bore inscriptions, intimating the date of their erection. 
They were formed of steps projecting inwards one 
beyond another, so as to cause the sides of the 
bridges gradually to approach each other at the top. 
Large flat slabs of stone were laid across, forming the 
highest point of junction. Only one bridge, built 
with a regular arch, crossed the canal. Every three 
or four miles there was a building, in which travellers 
are permitted to rest, and tea is supplied gratuitously 
at the expense of some wealthy and benevolent indi- 
viduals. Some of the working-people were resting 
under the cool shade of these buildings, and refreshing 
themselves with this gratuitous beverage, as we passed 
in our boat. The benevolent supporters of these 
institutions find their reward in the respect entertained 
towards them during life, and in the honours paid to 
their memory after death. Lofty stone arches, with 
public inscriptions, testified in every hamlet the fre- 
quency of such instances of liberality and worth. 

I landed at a little village near the terminus of the 
canal, and proceeded, in a chair, over the hills to the 
Budhist monastery at Teen-tung. About sun-set I 
was domiciled in some apartments, which I was per- 
mitted to appropriate to my use, in one of the 


quadrangles of the monastery. My luggage was 
deposited in the inner room, in which I slept, leaving 
my boy to occupy the outer room. In the latter was 
a large idol, which brought us occasional visits from 
some of the worshippers. One of the earliest visitors 
was a priest, who, after lighting a few fragrant sticks 
and presenting them to the idol, bowed down before 
it, knocking his head three times against the ground. 
The frequent sounds of bells and gongs during the 
night deprived me of those peaceful slumbers, which 
I might have expected to obtain in a more favourable 
situation. These vigils of the Budhist monks were 
far from being calculated to soothe the mind. On 
such a spot, however, feelings of thankfulness were 
sometimes more vividly realized than elsewhere, at 
the remembrance of that grace which alone makes a 
Christian to differ from the heathen around him. 

Sept. \>th I was disturbed at an early hour by a 
priest groaning in the ante-room, and uttering doleful 
sounds, as he prostrated his body before the hideous 
idol, after re-lighting the perfume-sticks. I remon- 
strated with the poor creature, who, with a vacant 
stare, asked me whether there were no Budhist 
priests in my own country, and what idols we wor- 
shipped. I gave him a tract, which he was unable 
to read, and which I therefore received again. In 
the afternoon I passed through some of the lesser 
temples, in which a few priests were performing their 
customary mummeries. I was at length attracted to 
the principal temple, in which about thirty priests 
were engaged in celebrating the evening service. The 
abbot stood in the centre with his face towards a 
colossal idol, at the distance of a few yards. A 


number of priests were marshalled in a row at a little 
distance on either side. At the tinkling of a bell they 
commenced a chant in slow time, and gradually 
increased in rapidity of utterance, as the quick beating 
of a hollow sounding-board led to an equally quick 
articulation of their unmeaning sounds, sometimes in 
a rehearsing, and at other times in a singing tone. 
Some of the priests, while repeating the sounds, 
secretly held out their hands towards me, making 
signs for some of the books which I carried under my 
arm. At length they all bowed down for some 
minutes before the idol, with their muffled faces on 
the ground. The sight of such an instance of delusion 
overcame all hesitation on my part ; and proceeding 
at once into the temple, I passed between the rows of 
priests, and placed a tract before each of them, as they 
lay on the pavement beating their heads. The tract 
contained a remonstrance against the sin of idolatry, 
and was written by a Chinese Christian, Leang Afa, 
himself a convert from idolatry. 

In the evening I proceeded to an out-temple distant 
a few hundred yards, where two priests were stationed. 
They appeared to take pleasure in exhibiting the 
ugly little idols, which were enshrined within the 
principal hall. As I remonstrated with them, in the 
presence of many other persons, on their folly 
in asking me to worship such senseless blocks, I 
proceeded to point to the idols with my umbrella ; 
whereupon the principal idol soon gave way to the 
force with which, in my carelessness, I poked its 
various parts. The whole assemblage burst into a 
loud laugh, on which I was emboldened to show how 
little the other idols could help themselves. As I 


gave them a slight thrust they trembled, tottered, and 
tumbled from their thrones. The people again laughed 
heartily, as the priests tried for some time in vain to 
make one of the idols maintain its sitting posture, the 
fall having disordered its component parts. Thinking 
that this liberty might put their good humour to 
too severe a test, I became more serious in my 
manner, and spoke of the wrath of God on those 
who thus dishonour His name. The only intelligible 
reply which I received was, that it was the Chinese 
custom to worship idols. In an adjoining room were 
a number of pikes lying in different directions. With 
these the priests arm themselves in case of robbery 
or depredation on the bamboo-plantations, which are 
an important source of income to the monastery. 

Sept. llth I set out, in a chair, on a visit to a part 
of the country distant about five miles, and previously 
unexplored by Europeans. As I was leaving the 
monastery, I met some women, who were coming to 
the temple to worship the idols. I gave them a few 
books to take to their homes, which they were at first 
unwilling to receive, and requested to know how 
much money they were to pay for them. The first 
large village, through which I passed, had never before 
been visited by a Western foreigner, and I was conse- 
quently an object of eager curiosity to the old, and of 
unmingled terror to the young. As I was carried 
through the long street of the village, the child- 
ren on all sides hurried away, screaming with 
fright, to their mothers. In the police of this district, 
the principle of self-government seemed to be 
carried out in its fullest extent. In every place 
there were some elder men elected as the responsible 


heads of the village. There was no Mandarin at 
any place nearer than Ningpo. The revenue was 
collected by a resident officer at each place, termed a 
te-paou, who, beyond the collection of the land-tax, 
possessed no authority, and received for his services 
about double a working-labourer's pay. The prin- 
cipal proprietor was a tea-grower, whose little farm 
lay on the adjoining hills. He was disappointed at 
my inability to give him a book, my stock being ex- 
hausted. One little group of men sought to obtain 
some tracts ; but on my testing the extent of their 
scholarship, I ascertained that not one of them could 
read. One of them, however, made a few unsuccessful 
attempts to guess at the sounds of the characters on 
the title-page. Many who asked for books were 
unable to pass this ordeal of reading the title-page, 
and showed disappointment at meeting with a conse- 
quent refusal of their request. At the top of one 
of the hills was a resting-place, with the usual 
appendage of an idol, under a long shed. An old 
preist, who had charge of the building, brought some 
tea, of which I partook. He endeavoured to raise 
himself in my estimation by telling me that his 
daughter was married to an Englishman. A by- 
stander hereupon whispered into my ear that the 
priest had sold his daughter for two or three hundred 
dollars. Before becoming priests, some of the monks 
have engaged in secular affairs, and brought up 
families of children ; the death of a wife being, in 
cases of poverty, sometimes an occasion of the husband 
retiring to a monastery for an easy subsistence. The 
furthest of the hills, to which I extended my visit, 
afforded a view of the sea from its summit. The 


neighbouring hills were named the Yang-so san, the 
Hwang-ge san, the Woo-ge san, and the Pow-tai san. A 
number of rocky islets were dotted about at a little 
distance from the shore, and a few fishing-craft were 
in sight. A marine village lay beneath us, called the 
Yang-haou keae. Although I was at the distance 
of twenty-five miles from any other foreigner, the 
people were everywhere friendly, peaceable, and 
apparently pleased with my visit. I was dependent 
on the services of two Chinese chair-bearers, whom I 
had never seen but once before. The same civility 
was perceptible everywhere as I returned. 

In the evening, as I passed through one of the 
large temples by a shorter way, one of the priests, 
possessing more than a usual share of impudence, 
urged me to comply with the usual custom of making 
obeisance to the large idol. I remonstrated with him 
on the absurdity of his wishing me to worship a thing 
made of wood and stone. He slunk away half 
ashamed. A young priest, of about eighteen years of 
age, watched his exit, and, approaching me, said, 
probably with the view of ingratiating himself in my 
favour, Sze-mei seen-sang pai poo-suh puh haou teih, 
" Smith, teacher, it is a bad thing to worship idols." 
I gave him a tract ; but found again, to my disap- 
pointment, that he could not read, and was practically 
removed beyond the means of instruction. 

The tea-farmer, whom I met at the village of San- 
dang-dow, visited me the next morning, having come 
three miles to obtain the books which I promised him. 
His visiting card of pink paper bore the names, Jin 
ting-yuen, and he stated his age to be fifty-three years. 
He stated that his village consisted of about ninety 


houses, and that the inhabitants were engaged in 
agricultural pursuits, raising crops of rice, and a herb 
called teen-tsing, which is extensively used for dying 
blue. Neither wheat nor cotton was grown in the 
vicinity. Large quantities of green tea were also 
cultivated. He said that the annual sum paid by 
himself, in Government duties, amounted to seventy 
taels of silver, equivalent to about 23 sterling. He 
came attired in his best clothes, and invited me to 
pay their village another visit the same evening, and 
to take a meal at his house. 

Soon after his departure the abbot returned my 
call. He seemed in very good spirits, and not at all 
displeased with my recent irregularity in distribu- 
ting the tracts against idolatry among the priests 
while engaged in their temple-services. He was also 
disposed to acquiesce in my proposal, that a friend 
from Ningpo should be permitted to occupy a suite 
of rooms, either in the monastery, or in an out-temple 
situated at the head of a pretty valley, half-a-mile 
distant, on the consideration of his receiving payment 
to the amount of five dollars a month. On the pre- 
vious day he affected to make objections, on the ground 
of our killing fowls and other animals for food, which 
practice was contrary to the maxims of the Budhist 
religion. He now appeared to be perfectly reconciled 
to the project, and intimated that he did not object 
even to foreign ladies visiting the place as temporary 
inmates ; which intimation removed another serious 
difficulty in the way of my friend bringing his family 
hither for a change of air. He presented me with 
some of the sacred books of the Budhists, and after- 
wards took me to see some rooms, which he placed at 


our service, having succeeded in effecting a compro- 
mise with his former scruples. 

In the evening I was carried to the village, three 
miles distant, to pay my friend the tea-farmer my pro- 
mised visit. One of the neighbouring peasants, called 
A-luh, who had attached himself to me as a chair-bearer 
and conductor, and was useful to me as an interpreter, 
being able to mingle a certain degree of the Mandarin 
dialect with the unintelligible patois of the district, 
proceeded to give me various items of information as 
we proceeded on our way. One of the facts commu- 
nicated to me by A-luh was to the effect that there 
were no robbers nor thieves in the neighbourhood, the 
people being very devout in worshipping idols. If 
this questionable plea of morality be admissible, it 
shows that idolatry exerts a moral check on the mind, 
and that superstition wields a greater power of re- 
straint over the fears of men than atheism. On my 
arrival at Jin's house I was surrounded by a number 
of his friends, who came to see the strange wonder of 
foreign features and a foreign garb. After handling 
my garments, and admiring the texture, with other 
similar outbreaks of curiosity, they showed some evi- 
dences of confidence in my good intentions, by bring- 
ing to me some sick persons, and especially those 
afflicted with diseases of the eye. I examined a few 
cases with sufficient attention to indicate my friendly 
interest, and then promised to write out the Chinese 
address of a medical Missionary friend at Ningpo, 
with a recommendation of their case for medical aid, 
in English. They asked how much money they were 
to pay ; and were delighted at receiving the promise 
of a general recommendation for any inhabitants of 


their village, who might proceed to the city for 
gratuitous cure. Here A-luh in some measure 
incurred my displeasure by his unwillingness to in- 
terpret the full meaning of my words. I requested 
him to explain that my friend the physician was, like 
myself, a worshipper of Jesus, and wished to do them 
kindness, in compliance with the rules of our religion. 
A-luh would, however, only say that we were good 
men ; and though I urged him to explain the whole of 
my remarks, he continued heedless .of my solicitations, 
and persisted to the last in avoiding the literal phrase. 
He belonged to a poor oppressed hereditary class of 
bondsmen, known by the name of Do-be in the local 
dialect, to whom allusion will hereafter be made ; and 
perhaps his fears might have got the better of his 
general desire to please. As I was writing the re- 
commendations for medical aid, some cakes, tea, wine, 
and other provisions were served on a table, of which 
the master of the house and myself alone partook. On 
my asking whether I might live among them in the 
village, he replied in the affirmative, and offered me 
the use of an upper room in his own house. I asked 
if they were afraid of the Mandarins, or the te-paou; to 
which they replied that they were not afraid, and that 
the latter officer had no authority to interfere in such 
matters. They also said that they would welcome 
and treat kindly any of my friends, who would come 
to distribute books and speak to them concerning our 
doctrines. The Chinese are very lavish in promises 
and compliments ; but there was no reason for doubt- 
ing, in the present instance, the sincerity and cor- 
diality of their assurances. 

Before I returned to Teen-tung, my host took me 


by a winding path, overgrown with shrubs, along the 
side of a little hill to a retired spot, where there was 
a temple with its superintending monk. All the love- 
liest spots in these parts appeared to be appropriated 
to temples and monasteries. After taking tea with 
the priest, and leaving some books, I took my depar- 
ture towards Teen-tung. The friendly sounds of Sze- 
mei seen-sang and Sze-mei laou-yay greeted me from 
almost every little group of houses, and indicated the 
kind spirit with which they welcomed my visit among 
them. The principal regret which I felt was my in- 
ability to speak to them, except a few words through 
my refractory Mandarin-interpreter. 

Sept. 19th When taking a morning walk around 
the different squares of the monastery, I was attracted 
to the large dining-hall by the notes of preparation 
and the summons of the monks to their second meal 
at nine A. M. The abbot was seated at a table on a 
raised platform, occupied by himself alone. The rest 
sat at long tables on either side, and awaited in solemn 
silence the signal to commence. An attendant car- 
ried round a large vessel containing rice, from which 
the abbot, and afterwards the rest of the priests in 
turn, helped themselves. Another large vessel was 
carried round, from which some soup of most nauseous 
odour was served out in a ladle. They all continued 
absorbed in silence without beginning their meal ; while 
one of the priests, who ministered on the occasion, 
took a small portion of rice, and carried it outside the 
building, where he placed it very devoutly on a stone 
slab. After bowing reverently to it two or three 
times, he returned to the hall, on which the sparrows 
quickly made their appearance to devour the sacred 


morsels. When he had resumed his position in the 
centre of the hall, another priest began to tinkle a 
bell, whereupon they all commenced singing, in 
regular time, a prayer or grace to the idol, which oc- 
cupied about five minutes. At the conclusion of the 
prayer, they proceeded to partake of the meal before 
them, not a syllable being exchanged between any of 
the priests, all of whom appeared to be under the in- 
fluence of serious awe. At the conclusion of this 
scanty and unsavoury repast, they again, with uplifted 
palms, returned thanks, each priest rising and bowing 
to the idol as he left the hall. On making his exit, 
the abbot directed his steps towards the place where 
I had been a quiet spectator of their meal, and invited 
me to accompany him to a portion of the temple, oc- 
cupied for the present by a priest who had come to 
visit him from a distance, and to whom he wished to 
introduce me. All the priests rose, when the superior 
of the monastery made his appearance. There was 
evidently a difference of rank in the priests, some of 
whom were employed in menial offices, while others 
were better clad and secured a larger share of atten- 
tion. This probably originated in the fact of there 
being several distinct endowments of the monastery, 
the priests appearing to enjoy a degree of affluence 
proportioned to the nature of the foundation, to which 
they happened to belong. Most of them, however, 
appeared to be in deep poverty, and were willing to 
descend to any act of servility for the smallest sum of 

In the large temple at the entrance a number of 
women were occasionally assembled from the neigh- 
bouring villages to consult the hwui-do idol. This 


divinity is said to have been originally imported from 
Siam, and is very generally consulted by traders, 
husbandmen, and mariners, previously to undertaking 
any business of importance. The worshippers burnt 
a few incense-sticks before the idol, and then took a 
round wooden case containing some tallies regularly 
numbered, which they waved over the fumes of sacred 
incense. After knocking their heads on the floor, they 
next proceeded to shake the wooden case till a tally 
dropped out. The process was repeated till a second 
fell from the case. Both tallies were taken to a priest 
sitting at a table near the entrance, who received a 
small fee, and gave in return two pieces of paper cor- 
responding in their numbers with those of the tallies. 
These slips contained a number of maxims and direc- 
tions on the various matters of daily life, from which 
their superstition or secret wishes led them to extract 
the response of the deity. 

In the afternoon I ascended the range of lofty hills 
known by the name Tae-pih-san. I was borne on 
the usual chair of two bamboo-poles joined together. 
In this manner my Chinese companions climbed, with 
much difficulty, the steep acclivity of the path, leading 
through a little forest of brush- wood for the first 
half mile, over which I proceeded, partly lifted and 
partly treading the ground with my feet from 
the chair. Our path was afterwards less impeded 
by shrubs ; but the ascent was at times so steep and 
rugged as to be attended with some degree of hazard. 
The Chinese, however, toiled on, and ascended hill 
after hill, separated from each other by alternate 
descents and sloping rises. At last we reached the 
summit, after an hour and a half's labour. None 
of my companions had ever before ascended to the 


top, though born and educated in the neighbour- 
hood. Near the summit was a little well of cold 
water, dedicated, by popular superstition, to the tung- 
fiai lung-wang, " The Dragon-prince of the Eastern 
Ocean," whose idol, carved out of a rude half-finished 
stone, was almost concealed by the bushes. It was so 
overgrown with shrubs that it required some time to 
cut them away and open the idol to their view. 
Here two of the Chinese commenced worshipping and 
bowing their heads to the water in the well ; while the 
two others yielded to my remonstrances, and abstained 
from any open act of the kind. We remained about 
half an hour on the summit of the hill, which is esti- 
mated at about 3000 feet above the level of the sea. 
As these hills formed a part of the promontory called 
Ke-tow point, there was an extensive view of the sea 
on three sides. Over against us lay the beautiful 
island of Chusan, at the distance of thirty miles. On 
our left, the declining sun w r as now gilding with its 
softened rays the town of Chin-hai, which was partially 
concealed by the bold towering rocks at the entrance 
of the river. Further inland lay the city of Ningpo, 
almost concealed by a passing thunder-cloud, which 
was rolling its deep sounds in the valley beneath us. 
On the south-west we descried the Tung-woo, with its 
spacious waters inclosed between the granite hills, 
which environed it on all sides. My conductors 
brought me some leaves of the tea-shrub, w r hich was 
here growing wild, and invited me to chew them as a 
substitute for a better beverage. The taste was un- 
pleasant, and I could as easily have detected the 
flavour of tea in a number of gooseberry leaves. 

On our descent we returned, by a different route, to 
a spot about three miles from the place of our ascent. 


The hills lower down had large tracts of soil occupied 
by tea-plantations. In different parts, the rustics who 
were working in the fields anxiously inquired of my 
guides what were my objects in coming there, and 
where I had been. A few words seemed to relieve 
their anxiety, and we proceeded downward by the 
channel of a mountain-stream. At the bottom the 
stream enlarged its bed, and flowed through the valley 
into numerous canals, which diverged from each 
other, and intersected the country like hedge-rows in 
a European scene, serving as substitutes for roads in 
the transit of the produce of the land. I was taken 
to the principal man of the village into which we 
came, which was of a straggling form, containing at 
least 2000 people. He received me hospitably into 
his extensive abode, which consisted of buildings 
forming a square, and inclosing a court in the centre, 
after the manner of the better sort of Chinese dwell- 
ings. My host was a clothier and clothes' dyer, having 
several shops in the neighbourhood. He appeared to 
be a person of some wealth, and his ambition had risen 
proportionably with the increase of his possessions. 
He had lately purchased the nominal rank of a gold 
knob or button on his cap. I had not long been 
seated before some ducks' eggs and rice-cakes, with 
tea, were brought, of which the old gentleman and 
myself partook. He was very inquisitive, and A-luh 
volunteered to explain my objects and character, in 
the course of which he caused me some annoyance by 
saying that I was the same as an English Bonze or 
Budhist priest, hung-maou ho-shang, a comparison 
which my religious objects, my being unmarried, and 
my recent refusal to take some wine, probably led 


him to make. This I contradicted at the time ; but 
on my afterwards reproving A-luh for his folly in 
comparing me to so wicked and ignorant a class of 
men, he affected innocence, and protested that he had 
been first asked the question whether I was such, and 
had merely denied the fact. Our path now lay over 
rice-fields, interspersed with tombs and monumental 
arches, if horizontal stones placed above perpendicular 
pillars can strictly merit the name. One tomb ex- 
ceeded the rest in beauty, having been erected to the 
memory of a Fokeen man named Hwang, who had 
come to open a trading hong at Ningpo, and died 
three years ago at a distance from his native province. 
He died in youth ; and, as a lucky place could not be 
purchased nearer to the city, was brought hither for 
interment, at the distance of twenty miles. We ar- 
rived at the monastery as it was growing dark, after 
an absence of five hours. 

Sept. 20th At daybreak I set out on my return for 
Ningpo, the people exchanging kind looks, and in 
many cases a farewell greeting, as I passed through 
their villages to the canal five or six miles distant. 
By mid-day I arrived at the city, after a disagreeable 
journey in the boat, from the heat and the dirty habits 
of the Chinese who were my fellow-passengers. At 
each of the different villages we took in a fresh set of 
noisy companions. 






SEPT. 2lst During one of the occasional walks which 
I took into the streets near my house, in order to dis- 
tribute tracts, I entered into the house of an oil- 
merchant. He and his partners rose to welcome me, 
and one of them advanced to shake hands with me, 
after the English custom. As we sipped tea together, 
they asked me many questions ; and finding that this 
was our Sabbath-day, they quickly turned to the 
Christian Almanac, a copy of which had by some 
means found its way into their possession ; and after 
inspecting the calendar they confirmed my statement. 
One of them for some minutes read aloud a part of a 
tract which I had given them. Among other ques- 
tions, they asked me whether I was a Roman Catholic. 
They afterwards told me that there were only a very 

R 2 


few Roman-Catholic natives in Ningpo, and that they 
principally belonged to the middle class of tradesmen. 
They also said that this sect secretly practised their 
religion, and at the same time worshipped idols, in 
order to escape detection, as the Mandarins would 
punish any person known to profess the teen-choo-keaou, 
" the religion of the Lord of Heaven." On the other 
hand, they said that the Mahomedans were more nu- 
merous, and were under no such danger or prohibi- 
tion, as several were to be found among the Mongol 
Tartars, and a few even among the Manchows. 

Sept. 22d The son of Doctor Chang paid me a 
visit, to convey to me a present from his father, and 
also to take me to see the military exercising, at the 
distance of about a mile. Under a shed, screened 
from the sun by some canvas, were seated two mili- 
tary subalterns, wearing white knobs on their caps. 
They were engaged in smoking and drinking tea from 
time to time ; while the soldiers came up in compa- 
nies of five, and, after answering to their names, shot 
six arrows each at a target about eighty yards distant. 
They wore a velvet cap, with a red silk tassel, similar 
to that generally worn by the higher classes of native 
gentry in winter. Their outer garment was a long 
flowing robe of blue cotton, reaching to the ankle, and 
fastened by a leather girdle around the waist. They 
had thick black boots, of a strong texture, reaching 
up the leg to the knee. After poising their frame, 
and throwing their body into various contortions, each 
of the soldiers deliberately took aim, and the arrow 
was propelled from their clumsy bow to the target. 
This consisted of a frame made of paper, about two 
yards in height and one in breadth. It had a white 


mark about a yard in length and three inches in width, 
running down the centre, in which were three red 
bulls' eyes at a distance of six inches from each other. 
More than half the arrows struck the target, on which 
a drum was beaten to announce the successful hit. A 
few soldiers shot with remarkable skill, one man 
hitting the central bull's eye three times out of the 
first four arrows. One of the subalterns kept a 
check-book, in which he noted down, opposite each 
soldier's name, his number of marks, sometimes making 
observations or giving directions in a scolding tone to 
any soldier who shot badly. Some of them appeared 
to experience nervousness under the lecture, and the 
reproof invariably took away all remaining chance of 
the individual hitting the mark. One or two men, 
after a random-shot, were ordered off without finish- 
ing their number of arrows. A prize is given to the 
successful archer, and his promotion is thereby deter- 
mined. There are regular trials for military degrees, 
similar to the literary examinations for civil offices, 
with the same titles of sew-tsai, Jceu-jin, &c., which are 
determined by similar exercises in archery, gunnery, 
equestrianism, and other details of military duty. 
Promotion is dispensed accordingly, and the most 
aspiring may hope to rise in their profession. The 
appearance of these soldiers was far from being martial 
or military ; and the reflection that such as these were 
the defenders of the Celestial Empire from invasion 
and conquest, was calculated to provoke the most ridi- 
culous comparisons. The Chinese have, however, 
gained experience in the late war ; and by adopting 
an improvement in their gunpowder, and the addition 
of wheels and swivels to their cannon, they might, in 


a future collision with a foreign power, offer a much 
more protracted resistance than in their past struggle 
with the British. Among the Tartar generals there 
exist unquestionably the highest chivalry and courage 
in defence of the Empire. But before the prowess and 
skill of the West they must finally bend in every con- 
flict, until they can overcome their reluctant scruples, 
and encourage the immigration and services of foreign 
engineers. The latter policy would involve so decided 
a departure from old-established ideas, and would be 
so marked an abandonment of that portion of national 
isolation which remains, that such an era in the his- 
tory of this race seems indefinitely distant. There 
has been a precedent of a similar policy in the astro- 
nomical services of foreigners at the capital. But no- 
thing else than the imminent peril of the Government, 
and the impending dissolution of the Empire, appears 
likely to effect the admission of French or American 
engineers to the confidence of the Government. In 
that respect, Mehemet Ali and the Porte are a thou- 
sand years in advance of the Chinese. 

During this week the military exercises continued 
in different parts of the suburbs, and in some open 
spaces within the city. Each day a printed list of the 
order and details of a military review was circulated 
among the people. The cavalry and mounted bow- 
men practised their exercises outside the eastern gate. 
It was generally rumoured that these trials were pre- 
paratory to conferring a brevet of military degrees 
and promotion. 

Sept. 23d The report was this day confirmed of 
the removal of Yih-kwan, the che-heen or district 
magistrate of Ningpo, to the district magistracy of 


Chapoo. He was a rich man, and therefore might 
expect rapidly to ascend the ladder of preferment in 
the present impoverished state of the exchequer, the 
lucrative offices of Government being frequently con- 
ferred on the wealthiest purchaser. His successor 
was the che-heen of Chin-hai, named Lai, who came 
to Ningpo under a load of popular odium. Placards 
were issued from anonymous writers, warning the 
people against the extortions of one of his principal 
servants, and abounding with charges of corruption 
against the che-heen himself. In making out a recent 
list of the candidates for the degree of sew-tsai in his 
district, he was charged with having placed, for a 
bribe of 2000 dollars, one of the inferior candidates at 
the top of the list of probationary sew-tsai, before 
nine or ten others more deserving of the first place of 
honourable mention. The list was republished on 
these placards, containing the names of the various 
probationers regularly registered, with the exception 
of the first name, which, in consequence of the ru- 
moured bribe, was omitted, and the candidate simply 
announced as " Mr. Two Thousand Dollars." These 
anonymous manifestos and ebullitions of popular in- 
dignation against corrupt or unpopular officers of the 
Government form a powerful engine of public opinion, 
and are the only substitute for a free press. It was 
generally believed that the new che-heen would have 
some difficulty in maintaining his ground against these 
public manifestos of the irate " scholars and gentry," 
and would be compelled to leave the place. The 
matter was likely to come to the ears of the che-foo, 
his superior, in which event the che-heen would be 
called to account. The next step in the usual course 


of venal corruption then follows. He partly confesses, 
but agrees to share the bribe with the che-foo. Here 
the affair terminates for the present ; but if the taou- 
tai take up the matter, he too must be subsidized in 
a portion of the 2000 dollars. Thus, by the partition 
of the ill-gotten bribe, the che-heen retains his office, 
the people vent their indignation in vain, and a cor- 
rupt administration of the local government is almost 
hopelessly perpetuated. 

Sept. 2Qth The strongly-expressed opinions of my 
medical advisers on the personal hazard of my re- 
maining during another hot season in China, led 
me reluctantly to make preparations for underletting 
the lease of my house, and taking my early depar- 
ture from Ningpo, in order to visit the other con- 
sular cities during the winter. The arrangements 
for bringing my successor's commercial goods into 
his new dwelling were for a day or two the means 
of attracting several native merchants and shroffs to 
my house, among whom I had opportunities of dis- 
tributing books. One of them was seen frequently 
perusing the books, and sometimes came to me to 
ask questions respecting them. In the early part 
of the morning I gave him a copy of the Epistle 
of St. James, translated into Chinese, which he was 
engaged for some time in reading. Two hours after, 
on my returning from a neighbouring street, I had to 
borrow from him a few coins to send to a beggar who 
lay in the last extremity of sickness at the entrance of 
a neighbouring temple. My Chinese friend seemed 
surprised at my conduct, and asked my reasons for 
taking any interest in the beggar, who was neither a 
relative nor a countryman of mine. I replied that the 


Supreme Ruler of Heaven commanded us to do good 
to all men. He commended the action, and then 
went away. He paced up and down in an adjoining 
room, appearing absorbed in thought, and emitting 
thick clouds of tobacco-smoke from his nostrils. He 
then took up one of the books, and after reading it a 
few moments, returned to me with pleasure depicted 
on his countenance, as if he had made some discovery 
which satisfactorily explained the questions passing 
through his mind. "Teacher," said he, "I under- 
stand it ! I understand it ! " He then pointed to 
the second chapter and eighth verse of St. James's 
Epistle, If ye fulfil the royal law according to the 
scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, 
ye do well. He highly commended the morality 
contained in that portion of our holy Scriptures, but 
said that Confucius enjoined the same duty almost in 
the same terms. He affirmed that there was a pas- 
sage of the same kind in the " Four Books." * In a 
subsequent part of our conversation he acknowledged 

* The original passage is an extract from a Commentary on 
one of the ancient classics. This Commentary is supposed to have 
been written a few centuries subsequent to the Christian era. The 
universal duty of benevolence is stated in a negative form, and 
consequently with a diminished force, to the following effect : " What- 
soever you are unwilling that others should do unto you, be unwill- 
ing to do unto them." Another extract states that "The whole 
system of Confucius's doctrine consists in fidelity and lenity alone." 
The sceptical atheism of Chinese literati, and their disbelief of a 
future state, are seen also in another statement. "Confucius said, 
Not being able to serve men, how can we serve spirits ? Not being 
fully acquainted with the affairs of this life, how can we possibly 
know the things after death ?" 


that he had never prayed for forgiveness of sin ; and 
that as we could obtain so little knowledge about the 
next world, the Confucians considered it unnecessary 
to trouble themselves about matters so uncertain. 

Sept. 21th On my going from the city, to sleep at 
a friend's house on the opposite side of the river, I 
had some apprehensions of not being allowed to pass 
through the city gate. It was rumoured that the 
Mandarins had ordered all the six gates to be closed 
at an early hour in the evening, and a seal to be 
affixed to each of them, in order to prevent any open- 
ing of the gates by bribing the soldiers of the watch. 
I found the North gate closed, but experienced no 
difficulty in having it opened. This I had often done 
before at the North, the Salt, and the East gates of the 
city ; the gate-keeper usually calling the next morn- 
ing for a gratuity of a hundred copper cash. On my 
approach to the gate this evening, the keeper at once 
pronounced my name and residence, the former gra- 
tuities having produced a remarkable effect on his 
powers of memory. I easily induced him to open the 
huge ponderous gate for myself and two Chinese. 
The cause of the early closing of the city gates was 
the serious outbreak of popular fury at Fung-kwa, 
about twenty miles distant, one of the districts in the 
department of Ningpo. The circumstances which 
gave rise to this tumult were said to be the follow- 
ing : In the examinations for the literary degree of 
sew-tsai, in the last year, the che-heen of Fung-kwa was 
charged with gross and flagrant partiality, the result of 
bribery. The same functionary had also, about the 
same time, levied an unauthorized amount of taxes on 
the people in his district. During the past year, the 


people of Fung-kwa heen had sent a petition, through 
the che-heen, to the Imperial Government, requesting 
that a considerable sum might be remitted from their 
taxes. A favourable reply had been received from 
Peking, remitting 2000 taels, which the che-heen con- 
trived to keep secret. He proceeded to levy the full 
amount of taxes, on the pretext that the petition had 
been unsuccessful, and placed the 2000 taels in his 
own pocket. This had been detected by the people, 
from whom a deputation of literary graduates was 
sent to Peking. Their petition was referred to the 
che-foo of Ningpo, who received an order to redress 
their grievances. The che-foo, who was suspected of 
being in league with the che-heen, and of being an- 
noyed with the memorialists for their spirited inter- 
ference, passed several slighting remarks, and affected 
to doubt the fact of their literary degree. He ordered 
the "Four Books" to be placed in the hands of some 
of them, that he might on the spot be satisfied of their 
scholarship. This insult the scholars could not brook. 
They refused to pass any such ordeal, saying that 
they came to have their wrongs redressed, and not to 
submit to a literary examination. The consequence 
was that they were rather roughly treated, and it was 
said that some of them were even bambooed on the 
spot by order of the che-foo. The time of retribu- 
tion, however, drew nigh. On the first day of the 
literary examinations the assembled scholars rose 
against the authorities, and, being joined by the popu- 
lace, put the che-heen to flight, and spread disorder 
and consternation over the whole district. Popular 
report affirmed that they were about to march on the 
city of Ningpo, and capture it by a coup- de-main. A 


deputation of three Mandarins, who had been sent 
from Ningpo to negotiate with the infuriated people, 
were severely beaten, and their sedan-chairs broken 
to pieces. The only officer, to whom the scholars 
were willing to listen, was said to be the deposed taou- 
tai, Loo ta-laou-yay, which fact was another proof of 
the public integrity of the disgraced functionary. The 
tumult of Fung-kwa speedily grew into a regular rebel- 
lion, and troops were sent from different parts of 
the province to quell the disturbance. These were once 
or twice routed by the populace ; and several of the 
military officers, as well as the che-heen himself, sub- 
sequently became the temporary patients of the two 
medical Missionaries in Ningpo, who prescribed for 
their wounds. The local authorities were in a panic ; 
but at length, with the arrival of reinforcements, the 
prospects of the rebels became gloomy, and the matter 
was brought to an amicable adjustment, on the condi- 
tion of the ringleader being given up for capital 
punishment. The real ringleader was secretly spared, 
and his place was said to be supplied by a poor 
Chinese, who, for the sum of 2000 dollars paid to his 
parents and family, consented to be the victim. The 
Chinese gazettes soon afterwards contained a list of 
military promotions, consequent on the bravery of the 
troops, as reported to the emperor through the false 
representations of the local authorities. 

The chair-bearers, who were to be hired at almost 
every corner of the streets in Ningpo, appeared to 
belong to a class of hereditary bondsmen, excluded 
from every honourable calling, and made, from gene- 
ration to generation, the marked objects of popular 
contempt, This race of beggar-population, commonly 


called do-be, were said to have had their origin during 
the time of the Yuen dynasty : their numbers were 
also reinforced in the Ming dynasty. They were said 
to be the descendants of some criminals who, for their 
offences, were, with their families, for ever incapaci- 
tated for honourable employment. These criminals 
were some Mandarins, guilty of treacherous transac- 
tions with the Japanese. At the present time this 
oppressed class supplies all the chair-bearers of the 
neighbourhood. They are also employed as barbers 
and head-shavers, and may perform the work of 
coolies. A few of them are engaged in the lowest kind 
of trades, and secretly possess considerable sums of 
money. Their women are employed as nurses, and are 
never saluted by other Chinese women with the usual 
respectful address of " sister-in-law." The do-be class 
are not allowed to wear the usual cap or garments of 
respectable Chinese. A great number of them become 
play-actors. They are not very numerous, being 
estimated at between two or three thousand, and are 
only found in the province of Che-keang, dwelling 
principally in the departments of Ningpo, Shaou-hing, 
and Tai-chew ; where, after a lapse of four or five cen- 
turies since their primary offence, they still continue 
to suffer the penalty of hereditary degradation. 

Sept. 28th I attended a religious service held in 
the morning by the American Missionaries, at which 
there was an attendance of about sixty persons, consist- 
ing principally of Chinese servants, teachers, and pupils. 
It was a scene well calculated to impress the native 
mind, accustomed to the superstitions of idolatry, with 
the solemnity and sublimity of Christian worship ad- 
dressed to the one true God. The next day, amid the 


affectionate greetings of my friends, I paid a farewell 
to Ningpo, where I had hoped to spend many years 
of usefulness, but in which, from continued sickness 
the effect of debilitated constitution rather than of local 
insalubrity I was unable to maintain my ground. 
After I had been committed to the Divine blessing by 
one of the Missionary brethren whom I had last 
visited, and we had mingled our prayers together, that 
we might, each in the different spheres in which Pro- 
vidence might place us, ever realize the Divine pre- 
sence, and be employed to God's glory, I embarked, 
at 10 P.M., on board a native boat, and at midnight 
weighed anchor. 

The circumstances of my three months' residence 
at Ningpo, although a season of protracted weakness 
and sickness, will ever be remembered among the 
most pleasing recollections of my life. The Missio- 
nary brethren from America, of whose kind atten- 
tion I shall ever retain an affectionate remembrance, 
were diligent in pursuing their work; and though 
as yet few in number, are likely to become, as 
a body, eminently useful. Only one British labourer 
had at this time entered on the Station of Ningpo 
a female Missionary, who, with her own independent 
resources, was making a praiseworthy effort to 
impart the benefits of a Christian education to about 
twenty female children. The prejudices and suspi- 
cions of the parents, which were at first roused by the 
slightest incident, even causing the removal of every 
child at the mere arrival of a steamer in the river, 
had been gradually allayed by her judicious and 
kind management, and their confidence was daily in- 
creasing. A little babe, rescued from slow starvation, 


had just been received as an inmate, on the day of my 
last visit at the School. Boys could be obtained from 
their parents, without difficulty, for a term of years, 
to be educated by the Missionaries ; and the system 
had been already partially acted on by them. But it 
is only to unmarried female Missionaries and even to 
such with some degree of hesitation that the Chinese 
are willing to entrust the care of their female children. 
Miss Aldersey, therefore, deserves the sympathy and 
prayers of all who are interested in the success of 
her bold experiment. Her labours have been con- 
ducted, both here and previously in Java, with a 
degree of perseverance and courage, which deserves to 
find a place among those instances of female fortitude, 
with which the history of Christian Missions abounds. 

Our Chinese boat lay at anchor off Chin-hai during 
the night. The next morning, also, we were detained 
by foul winds for some time off the mouth of the 
river. About mid-day, with the change of tide, we 
proceeded towards Chusan, where we arrived, about 
an hour after sunset, on September 30th. 

During the first few days of my stay at Chusan, I 
resided in the house of a friend on the beach, from 
which I afterwards removed to the house of an 
American Missionary, situated near the north gate 
within the city of Tinghai. 

On Oct. 3d, the French ambassador, M. Lagrene, 
with his family and suite, landed at Chusan, amid a 
salute of artillery from the British, and a guard of 
honour. The visit of his Excellency gave a temporary 
excitement to the place. Among the suite was the son 
of the late Duke of Tarentum, Marshal M'Donald, who, 
in the freedom of friendly hospitality, mingled with 


some of the veterans, who had been opposed to his mar- 
tial sire. In addition to some priests in private garb, 
there was one who appeared with his Excellency on 
various public occasions, and was said to be the supe- 
rior of the order of St. Lazarus, whose emissaries are 
numerous in China. 

During my stay in Chusan I had an opportunity of 
officiating on the Sundays at an afternoon service for 
the troops. A Budhist temple, formerly devoted to 
the service of idols, and even now bearing marks 
of the late war in portions of the walls battered 
by the cannon-balls of the British, was the scene of 
our religious service. The whole European bat- 
talion were assembled, and the Protestant part of 
them marched to the building, which was ordinarily 
used as a canteen for the troops. On the first occa- 
sion about 500 persons were assembled, to whom I 
preached a sermon on the blessedness of a Christian 
death. The subject was suggested by the funeral 
procession of a young naval officer, whom I had buried 
during the past week, and whose remains were 
attended to the grave by a body of military and part 
of a man-of-war's crew, the soldiers firing, according 
to custom, at the conclusion of the service. 

A period of five years had elapsed since the first 
occupation of the island by the British. During the 
whole of this time the military residents had been 
left destitute of the advantages of a resident chaplain. 
The only interruption to this destitution of spiritual 
instruction was the occasional visit of a man-of-war 
with a naval chaplain ; who however had his appointed 
duties on board his own ship, lying at some distance 
from the shore. It was indeed affecting to behold 


that assemblage, the sad relics of war, climate, and 
disease ; and to reflect on the numbers who had sunk 
into the grave without the comforts of religion even 
in their dying hour, or the ministerial offices of burial. 
The deep attention depicted in every countenance in 
that martial assembly seemed to tell a tale, which 
might well appeal to the sympathy of statesmen, and 
suggest thoughts of self-reproach for past neglect. 
The French ambassador, in my hearing, drew an in- 
vidious contrast between the neglect of the British 
Government in leaving so large a body of soldiers for 
so long a time destitute of a resident spiritual instruc- 
tor, and the conduct of his own Government, who, in 
addition to other priests on board the frigate, had 
supplied him with a private Chaplain among his suite. 

About twelve pious soldiers used also to visit me 
on another evening of the week, within the city, where 
I held another religious service. 

I remained in Chusan for a fortnight, waiting for a 
passage to Shanghai, having determined on paying a 
second visit to my friend M'Clatchie, previously to 
my departure to the consular ports of Foo-chow and 
Amoy. During this time I made frequent excursions 
into the surrounding country, and mingled in con- 
tinual intercourse with the people of Tinghai, in com- 
pany with the Missionary friend, whose house afforded 
me the comforts of a temporary home. 











CHUSAN is the largest island of an archipelago of 
that name, which lies off the central part of the ex- 
tensive line of Chinese coast. This cluster of islands 
forms a district in the department of Ningpo, named 
Tinghai-heen, after the capital of Chusan, which city 
is situated in latitude 30 0' 20" north, and in longi- 
tude 122 5' 18" east. The island stretches, in an 
irregular form, about twenty-five miles in length from 
north-west to south-east, its average breadth being 
about ten miles. There are eighteen principal vil- 
lages in the island, together with a number of lesser 
hamlets, where the cultivators of some larger farm 
are collected together within a wall surrounding their 


little dwellings. Lofty hills, rising to the height of 
from 1000 to 2000 feet, intersect the country in all 
directions, and enclose a number of fertile valleys, 
in which crops of bean, maize, rice, and the sweet 
potato, sheltered by the surrounding eminences from 
the cold blast, wave in rich luxuriance, to delight the 
eye and reward the toil of the husbandman. Every 
valley has its little stream or rivulet, pursuing its 
course down the verdant slopes, and finding a tortuous 
channel to the sea. Those valleys, which open on the 
beach, are guarded from the impetuous waters of the 
spring-tides by broad and firmly-constructed barriers 
of earth, piled along the shore, and possessing outlets, 
which, at certain seasons, are opened to drain the 
neighbouring rice-fields of their superabundant water. 
There are few parts of the island which are not 
compelled to yield some kind of produce for the 
supply of human necessities. The only spots, 
which escape the plough or the spade, are the 
thousands of little tombs, which conceal the de- 
parted dead, and whose lofty piles of grassy herb- 
age, surmounting the top, denote the numerous 
contributions of sacred earth which their relatives 
annually make. The extraordinary number of tombs, 
which cover the hills bordering on the north-west of 
the city, prove its great antiquity and numerous 
population. Scarcely a spot is to be seen, which is 
not occupied with stone monuments, inscribed with 
the names and dates of the deceased. The city itself 
is of an irregular pentagonal form, about two-thirds 
of a mile in length from north to south, and a little 
less in average breadth from east to west. It is sur- 
rounded by a wall about eighteen feet in height, and 


fifteen in breadth, which is nearly three miles in 
circuit, and through which four gates open into the 
surrounding country, respectively named from the 
four cardinal points. The parts of the wall, which 
cross the Cameronian hill, so as to enclose portions of 
it within the city, are in a state of semi-dilapidation, 
the ramparts having been thrown down by the British 
troops after their escalade and capture of the defences. 
From this eminence a fine view is obtained of the 
city, and of the harbour at the distance of a mile, with 
the adjoining country and the neighbouring islets. 
Several open spaces, formerly occupied by the public 
offices and houses of Mandarins, remain as monuments 
of the destructive ravages of British assailants. A 
fine pagoda rises above the general level of the 
buildings in the western part of the city. In several 
of the groves, which line the neighbouring hill-sides, 
are little temples, under the superintendence of one 
or two priests, who are generally sent from the island 
of Pootoo, the grand metropolis of Budhism in this 
part of China. About a mile to the north of the city 
there is a very pretty grotto and flower-garden, on a 
small scale, skilfully contrived so as to represent the 
usual beauties of rural scenery in a small space. 
Two bridges over a stream of water, and two flights 
of stone steps, lead the visitor, by a circuitous route, 
to the other end of the grotto, combining a variety 
of scenes, the arrangement of which is creditable to 
the ingenuity of the native artist, and has been gene- 
rally attractive to foreigners. 

The paths over the hills and across the fields are 
generally very narrow, in many parts scarcely ad- 
mitting one person to walk, except with extreme care. 


Some of the valleys are very picturesque, and have 
received an English name from some circumstance 
happening to individual foreigners on the first, capture 
of the island. Among these, the long valley, com- 
monly called Anstruther's Valley, deserves mention, 
so termed from the fact of a British officer of that 
name being kidnapped by the Chinese in that part, 
and taken prisoner to the Mandarins on the conti- 
nent. The whole population of the island has been 
variously estimated ; but the most probable estimate 
reckons it to amount to 120,000, one-fourth of the 
number being contained within the city of Tinghai. 

The character of the population resembles that of 
the people on the neighbouring mainland. They are 
free from that turbulent hostility to foreigners, which 
prevails among their countrymen in the province of 
Canton. The former inhabitants of Chusan, according 
to tradition, manifested great opposition to the reigning 
dynasty on the first subjugation of China by the 
Manchow Tartars. They are said to have resisted all 
efforts to bring them to submission, and to have per- 
sisted in refusing to adopt the badge of servitude, 
imposed by the conquering race the modern fashion 
of shaving the head and wearing a queue. This 
brought on them the vengeance of the victorious 
bands of Manchows, who subdued the island, and ex- 
terminated the whole race of the original inhabitants, 
whose place was supplied by an emigration from 
Ningpo of the ancestors of the present population. 
The mass of the people consists of agriculturists and 
fishermen, the traders forming but a small proportion 
of the whole, except within the city. Under the 
Chinese regime, which prevailed previously to the 


occupation of the island by the British, the produce 
of the soil was divided into ten parts, of which one 
was paid to the Government, four to the proprietor 
of the land, and the remaining five were the property 
of the cultivator. There are some rich landowners, 
but few of them have resided on the island since the 
war. The fertility of the soil is such, that from the 
same ground two crops of rice, besides vegetables, are 
raised with little labour, and that little is required only 
at one season of the year. Their ploughs are worked 
by a single buffalo ; and, after the grain is sown, the 
principal labour is that of irrigation. This is gene- 
rally performed by means of a circular machine, 
worked by a buffalo ; the water being raised, by a 
series of pieces of wood attached to a strap, into a 
higher level from the stream or dyke below. The 
harvests usually take place between the months of 
August and November. Rice is raised in quantities 
more than sufficient to support the whole population. 
From the surplus a kind of spirit is distilled, called 
samshoo, which forms the principal article of export. 
Vegetable tallow, tea, sweet potatoes, and cotton, 
are also produced for home-consumption. The manu- 
facture of salt, bricks, and various articles of domestic 
use, furnish employment to a portion of the population. 
The people have the character of being industrious 
and easily governed. Highway robbery, though not 
unknown, is of extremely rare occurrence. House- 
breaking is more common, and petty thefts are of 
daily occurrence. The population of the neighbouring 
islands is scanty, some of them having only one or 
two families, while others are entirely destitute of 
inhabitants. It is composed of the same classes of 


people as the inhabitants of Chusan, consisting of 
agriculturists, fishermen, and salt-makers. Pirates 
and freebooters, chiefly from the more southern 
province of Fokeen, frequent the neighbouring pas- 
sages, but have never been known to attack Euro- 
peans. The native craft are sometimes collected 
together in Chusan harbour, so as to form a mutual 
convoy against these depredators on their voyage 
southward. In July of the present year, out of 180 
junks, which left the harbour together, 160 were 
compelled to return within four hours afterwards, 
with the loss of a few sailors, who were wounded 
by the spears of the pirates. Some cases of piracy 
have taken place close to the harbour; but there 
are no grounds for suspecting the people of Chusan 
to be implicated in these deeds of crime. 

There are passage-boats constantly plying between 
Chusan and Ningpo, by which natives are brought the 
whole distance for the small sum of 200 copper cash, 
equal to about eightpence. There is a considerable 
intercourse between the two places, the more respect- 
able merchants residing at the city of Ningpo. They 
generally transact their business at Chusan by means 
of brokers and agents, and visit the island only on 
extraordinary occasions. Although Chusan possesses 
the elements of internal prosperity, in the natural 
productions and independent resources which a boun- 
tiful Providence has afforded it, there are few cases of 
wealth, the people generally exhibiting the marks of 
poverty and slender means of livelihood. The cases 
of extreme want are, however, rare ; and every man 
in health can earn, by the sweat of his brow, sufficient 
to supply the ordinary demands of nature. There 


are only a few of those public institutions, which are 
met with in richer and larger cities, for the relief of 
the destitute. The poor are left to die in the streets, 
or at the entrance of temples. The owners of houses 
are careful to remove indigent inmates on the first 
approach of fatal disease, to prevent their contamina- 
tion by death, and to avoid the expenses of interment, 
which legally devolve on the proprietor of the dwell- 
ing in which a pauper dies. The people are friendly 
and well-disposed to strangers ; and a visit to the 
most distant parts of the island can be made at any 
time, and without any risk of meeting with personal 
violence or insulting expressions. The simple ele- 
ments of society appear to be held together principally 
by the bonds of patriarchal law, unwritten indeed, but 
deeply rooted in the feelings of the people. The 
social condition of the people of Chusan stands forth 
in happy contrast with the heterogeneous elements of 
which the Chinese population of Hong Kong is com- 
posed, and with the nocturnal depredations on pro- 
perty, and violence on person, which have long pre- 
vailed there. On the testimony of those officers of 
the British Government, who have had the best op- 
portunities of ascertaining the truth, Chusan possesses 
an industrious, orderly, and respectable class of inha- 
bitants, and enjoys a general exemption from those 
social disadvantages, which have converted the British 
possession, off the southern coast, into a receptacle 
for the most abandoned desperadoes of the adjoining 

Such is the general character of an island, which is 
intimately associated with the most prominent events 
of the late war with China. In the beginning of July 


1840, the British expedition arrived before the town of 
Tinghai, the authorities of which were summoned to 
surrender. There was something tragical in the oc- 
currences of that time, when, in pursuance of a policy 
of warfare more bold than just, the scene of conflict 
was transferred from the South of China to the Central 
Provinces, the inhabitants of which scarcely knew the 
name of Britain until they beheld her victorious arma- 
ments advancing before their defenceless homes. A 
show of resistance, more ludicrous than terrible, was 
offered ; and on July the 5th the British forces landed, 
and, carrying every thing before them, on the next day 
entered the city without a check. The old Chinese 
admiral, who, in a previous parley with the British 
commanders, had affected a listless composure, and 
laughed heartily as he descended the foreign ship of 
war, calmly encountered his unhappy destiny. He 
had to choose between two alternatives. On the one 
hand, was present safety to be gained by timely sur- 
render, but to be followed by the speedy vengeance 
of the Emperor for cowardice. On the other hand, 
there remained for him the alternative of meeting 
death with a dignified courage, while resisting the 
enemies of his country. He preferred the path of 
heroism, and fell seriously wounded. His flag-captain 
was slain ; and the che-heen, the principal Civil Magis- 
trate, in the hour of flight, resorted to suicide as the 
termination of his disasters. The British troops were 
undisputed masters of the city, which for a time be- 
came a confused scene of plunder and pillage. It was 
in vain that officers were stationed in the different 
streets to restrain the Indian and European soldiery 
in the hour of excitement. Every house was sacked, 


the intoxicating samshoo was eagerly sought and 
drunk, and, but for the general destruction of the jars 
which contained this ardent spirit, further excesses of 
the most deplorable kind might have followed. Mean- 
while the more respectable citizens had been fleeing 
through the northern, eastern, and western gates to the 
distant parts of the island, whence they quickly trans- 
ported themselves to the continent, beyond the reach 
of their British invaders. Proclamations were issued 
from the British Commander-in-chief, offering security 
of person and of property to those who were willing to 
remain. But the stillness of desolation reigned every- 
where ; and, as the troops advanced, only a few poor 
creatures, who were unable to escape, made their ap- 
pearance. They were seen coming forth from their 
houses, imploring the barbarians to spare their lives, 
and seeking to disarm their dreaded cruelty by offering 
them tea. The lowest classes of Chinese, who, amid the 
general flight of the inhabitants, remained in the island, 
soon gathered boldness, and proceeded to pillage the 
houses that had been abandoned by their wealthier 
owners, and to carry the booty from the city. This led 
to prohibitory measures, and the gates of the city were 
guarded, to prevent the removal of any property. The 
walls were also watched, to defeat the many plans of 
deception that were devised to smuggle away the 
plunder. Sometimes a coffin was borne through the 
gates with a train of loudly-bewailing mourners, who 
were allowed to pass. The funerals soon became so 
frequent, that at last a coffin was opened, and instead 
of the corpse, a quantity of silk was discovered within. 
Some of these plunderers were shot dead on attempt- 
ing to force their way past the sentries. The shop- 


keepers who remained soon resumed their customary 
vocations, and their commodities met with a rapid sale. 
Provisions were everywhere in request by the English, 
which the native traders were eager to supply as a 
source of profit. Matters proceeded for some time in 
this smooth and easy course, when at length the Chi- 
nese rulers issued their threatening edicts against those 
individuals who supplied the barbarians with provi- 
sions. A Chinese purveyor was seized by kidnappers, 
and, being taken to Chinhai, was severely punished for 
his offence. Rewards were afterwards offered for the 
capture of Englishmen, and a few cases of kidnapping 
and mutilation followed. Three Chinese were appre- 
hended and sentenced to be hanged for an attempt of 
this kind. During the previous night, one of them, 
whilst endeavouring to escape, was shot by the sentry 
on duty. The two others were led forth to be sus- 
pended from the same branch of a tree, and after 
repeated bowings to a crowd of spectators, Chinese 
and British, were thrown off by one of their own 
countrymen and fellow-prisoners, on whom the task 
was imposed. 

The intrigues of the Mandarins, and the terrors of 
the people, soon produced a scarcity of provisions, 
which may be considered as the primary cause of the 
subsequent ravages of disease among the troops. The 
dire menaces of the Mandarins against those who fur- 
nished supplies to the British, produced such a panic 
in the minds of the Chinese inhabitants, that Tinghai 
became, in a short time, deserted by the people, and 
the necessaries of life were with difficulty obtained. 
The people also, in the villages around, became so 
emboldened by the forbearance of the British, that 


every straggler from the foraging parties was seized, 
and the most trifling articles of food had to be 
guarded and convoyed by an armed force. Mean- 
while the troops, encamped on a marshy swamp, amid 
the intense heat of summer, were suffering from the 
combined effects of sickness and bad provisions. 
Fever and dysentery spread fearful havoc among 
them. The removal from tents into comfortable 
quarters in the city proved but a slight alleviation of 
the evil. The severity of their sufferings, added to 
the frequent attacks of the peasantry, might naturally 
have been expected to try the patience of the mili- 
tary. There is, however, every reason for believing 
that the general forbearance of the troops was in the 
highest degree creditable under these circumstances 
of provocation. Notwithstanding these adverse cir- 
cumstances, some desultory attempts were made to 
organize a native police throughout the island, and to 
form a system of internal government. 

At this juncture the tidings arrived of pacific over- 
tures, and the conclusion of a truce with the Chinese 
Government. After a series of diplomatic negotia- 
tions, during which Chinese duplicity had full scope 
for its exercise, a treaty was concluded between the 
representatives of the Chinese and British Govern- 
ments. The prisoners on either side were to be libe- 
rated ; the island was to be evacuated ; and, in accord- 
ance with these stipulations, on Feb. 23d, 1841, Chusan 
was restored to the Chinese. The British expedition 
was soon on its way to the southward ; and thus an 
ill-timed dependence on the promises and fair speeches 
of E-le-poo averted for a time the impending blow, 
and served to defer the day of plenary retribution. 


The result showed that neither party was satisfied 
with the terms of the peace ; and E-le-poo had soon to 
bear the weight of imperial displeasure, in distant 
exile from the flowery land. Subsequent events 
proved the insincerity of the Chinese, and the note of 
warlike preparation was again sounded. The arrival 
of the new plenipotentiary, Sir H. Pottinger, brought 
energy and firmness into the scene of operation ; and 
soon an expedition was a second time on its way from 
Hong Kong. Amoy speedily fell before the assembled 
forces, naval and military. Ningpo was situated next 
in the contemplated order of advance towards the im- 
perial capital. Chusan lay in the route, and again 
became an object of attack. During the interval 
since its evacuation, its defences had been strength- 
ened, and a long line of mud-fortifications had been 
thrown up along the beach. The resistance, though 
more determined on the part of the Chinese than on 
the former assault, was equally ineffectual. On the 
west of the harbour a strong body of troops landed, 
and pursued the routed bodies of Chinese over the 
hills toward the city. On the east the cannonade of 
the British soon silenced every Chinese gun, and 
emptied the Pagoda Hill fort of its defenders. The 
bravery of many individuals was conspicuous; but the 
British bore every thing before them, and a second 
time Tinghai fell into the hands of a foreign invader. 
A body of the troops was detached to scour the island 
in all directions; and before the expedition left, 
Chusan was placed under military government, and 
garrisoned by a body of 400 men. Thus, after a lapse 
of less than eight months, on Oct. the 1st, 1841, the 
island again became subject to British law. The 


inhabitants were made acquainted with the fact of its 
probable retention for many years under British 
power, till the whole of the demands of Britain should 
be not only acceded to, but also carried into effect. 
Proclamations were issued, promising protection to 
the peaceable, and denouncing punishment against the 
disorderly. The people were induced to resume 
their customary trades, by the assurances of a just and 
fostering Government. From that time to the present, 
affairs have gradually assumed a peaceful aspect, and 
the population have become reconciled to, and even 
contented with, their foreign rulers. The subsequent 
events of the war ceased to affect their condition. 
The capture of Chinhai at the distance of thirty miles 
on the mainland, the occupation of Ningpo, the re- 
duction of Chapoo, were a rapid succession of defeats, 
thoroughly humbling to the arrogance of the native 
rulers. The fall of Shanghai, the dreadful storming of 
Chinkeang, and, lastly, the approach of the expedition 
under the very walls of Nanking, with a numerous 
fleet of ships of war, which, by the skill of the survey- 
ing departments of the force, had overcome all the 
formidable difficulties of navigating the Yang-tze- 
keang, the key to the whole empire, proved to a de- 
monstration the power and superiority of those 
foreigners, whom they had hitherto affected to de- 
spise. On August 29, 1842, the treaty of Nanking 
was signed, and the retention of Chusan formed a 
part of the stipulations, until the payment of the last 
instalment of the indemnity, which was to take place 
in the early part of 1846. The dreadful ravages of 
disease, by which so many of our troops were brought 
to the grave on the first occupation of the island 


in 1840, were soon proved to be the result, not of 
local insalubrity, but of unparalleled privations. For 
four years, since its second capture, Chusan has 
been found a healthy and agreeable residence ; and 
many are now able to acknowledge, with gratitude to 
the Almighty, the invigorating influence of its climate, 
after a change from the insalubrity of Hong Kong. 

The influence, for good or for evil, which British 
occupation exerts, involves a responsibility of the most 
serious kind. The consideration of this subject will 
naturally awaken anxious reflections in the minds of 
those Christian patriots, who view even the greatness 
and glory of their native land, and the wide extension 
of the British empire, as events important indeed, but 
secondary to the interests of the Redeemer's king- 
dom, and the proclamation of that message of mercy, 
which everywhere breathes the spirit of its Heavenly 
Author, Peace on earth and good-will towards men. The 
probable effects of British tenure of this important 
island on the social and moral state of the population, 
and indirectly on the destinies of the Chinese empire, 
might have furnished an interesting subject for conjec- 
ture. The extent, however, to which such hopes have 
been realised, is a matter more easy for investigation. 
It would have argued no very sanguine temperament, 
to have hailed the temporary annexation of Chusan to 
the empire of Britain as a rare and precious opportu- 
nity for an exhibition of the arts and civilization of 
the west of the mild but incorruptible majesty of 
British law of the sublime morality and benevolence 
of the Christian character and of the fostering influ- 
ence diffused by British government on the commerce, 
the liberties, and the happiness of the governed. A 


more intimate knowledge, however, of human affairs, 
and of the general tendency of British colonization, 
would perhaps have moderated excessive expectations 
of this kind. The actual condition of the people, and 
the feelings cherished by them towards the foreigners, 
may afford an insight into the real effects of British 
connexion. The absence of all taxation, the large 
amount of gain acquired by the tradesmen, and the 
well-known and acknowledged fact of the impartial 
administration of justice equally to rich and poor, 
have undoubtedly attached considerable numbers of 
the people to the British. But the dark side of the 
picture must be viewed before we hastily gather the 
self-complacent inference, that we have here reared 
a permanent monument of our superiority to the old 
Chinese regime in their eyes. Frequent deeds of vio- 
lence on the part of the soldiery, numerous scenes of 
intoxication from the maddening draughts of samshoo, 
a general disregard of the feelings of the Chinese, and 
continual outbreaks of a proud overbearing spirit on 
the vanquished race, required something more of an 
opposite character, to counteract their natural effect on 
the native mind, than the mere spectacle of the power, 
the arts, and the wealth of the new-comers. Accord- 
ingly, we find that the popularity of the British is 
limited to those, on whom self-interest and lucre have 
operated as a bribe. The lower classes exhibit no 
decided indications of hostility. The better classes, 
however, who had rank and consequence to lose, are 
naturally dissatisfied with the present state of things. 
Sighing in secret for the period when they will be 
able to resume their former position in society, they 
maintain a cautious reserve of their opinions on all 


subjects of comparison between the two Governments. 
Before the American residents they are less reserved, 
and speak in terms of exultation of the approaching 
evacuation of Chusan, and the restoration of Chinese 
rule. The boatmen, coolies, and servants regard 
the departure of the British as a cessation of their 
high wages. The shopkeepers also, who have gained 
money from the foreign residents, are naturally 
sincere in their regret at the departure of the Bri- 
tish troops. As the Mandarins will probably prac- 
tise extortions on those who have acquired wealth 
from the British, it is expected that many of this class 
will, on the cession of Chusan, migrate for a season to 
the cities on the continent, and thus contrive to escape 
their rapacious avarice. 

The administration of police under the British 
has been generally marked by a spirit of moderation 
and mildness ; though some of the British police- 
officers, ignorant of the distinctions of Chinese rank, 
have generally treated the gentry and mob equally 
alike. On the occasion of a trivial matter of com- 
plaint, a literary Chinese was tied by the queue 
to a fellow-prisoner, and dragged unceremoni- 
ously, through the gazing throngs of his country- 
men, to the residence of the British magistrate, 
who promptly dismissed the case. Their liabi- 
lity to such acts of degradation have combined, with 
fear of the British, in banishing the wealthiest native 
gentry from the island. The native police, em- 
ployed by the British magistrate, are suspected 
of being also in the secret employ of the Chinese 
Government as spies on the proceedings of foreign- 
ers. They are taken from the worst classes of 


the Chinese population, but do their work well, 
and have been found faithful to their present 
employers. Many of them have themselves been 
thieves ; and their acquaintance with the haunts and 
plans of their former companions in theft has afforded 
advantages in the apprehension of offenders. Some- 
times they affect to be afraid of the vengeance of the 
thieves on the departure of the British. The petty acts 
of trickery, current in Chinese courts of law, have 
been sometimes resorted to in the most unblushing 
manner by criminals. It was, at first, no uncommon 
occurrence for the accused to attempt in open court 
to bribe the police, the interpreter, or the magistrate, 
the people having been accustomed to a system, in 
which money usually carried the day. One wealthy 
native merchant, who was apprehended with some 
stolen articles on his person, pleaded that he was not 
the thief, and offered to Bring the actual thief, who 
subsequently came and confessed the deed. The 
latter was sentenced, amongst other punishments of a 
severer kind, to lose his queue. This degradation was 
so unexpected that he earnestly begged for exemption 
from this part of the sentence, and brought witnesses 
to prove that the merchant, who had now made good 
his escape, had bribed him by the sum of a hundred 
dollars to plead guilty of the crime, and to be his 
substitute in suffering the punishment. This vicarious 
punishment in consideration of pecuniary remunera- 
tion is frequently connived at and tolerated by the 
Chinese rulers ; but it could not be recognised oy a 
British magistrate, and the poor dupe had to suffer 
the full penalty for his avarice and deceit. 

The foreign trade of Chusan has been almost a 


nullity, being confined to a few ships touching on their 
way to the other ports. The only vessels in the har- 
bour are an occasional ship of war, and three or four 
opium-ships, stationed there as receiving vessels. 
These afford the principal attractions to the Chinese 
merchants, to the exclusion of more regular com- 
merce. The fumes of opium, which at all times are 
wafted on the breeze and infect the whole atmosphere 
around, together with the numerous native smuggling 
craft which beset the sides of the opium-vessels, are 
some indication of the extent of this branch of traffic. 
Native smuggling vessels from Taichew, Chinhai, 
Ningpo, and Chapoo, constantly convey back the drug 
by stealth to the mainland, and reap a rich amount of 
gain from their boldness. The monthly sale of opium 
in the harbour of Chusan averages from 225 to 230 
chests. The Chinese officers at Ningpo are said to 
connive at the introduction of the article on payment 
of 5 per cent, ad valorem duty ; i. e. from 25 to 50 
dollars per chest. This is a fact of open notoriety 
among the Chinese at Ningpo and Chusan. The 
whole sum is supposed to be swallowed up among the 
venal agents of the customs. The only general trade 
with foreigners has consisted of a few cargoes of cam- 
phor and alum. Nothing, however, of any extent 
or importance has been transacted, in the absence of 
the former capital and wealth of the island. 

The presence of foreigners will probably stamp a 
permanent character on the tastes and wants of the 
people of Chusan. Trifling articles of European manu- 
facture have found their way into Chusan, and given a 
new impulse to native skill. And thus the people will 
be at least half a century in advance of their country- 



men. Old prejudices have been sapped and under- 
mined ; so that amid all the faults and abuses of our 
trust, the permanent benefits conferred by our tem- 
porary jurisdiction will, on the whole, counterbalance 
the moral evils. The spectacle of a Government supe- 
rior to bribes and extortions has been exhibited to 
their view. That moral power, which British truth 
and integrity have acquired in India, more than all our 
force of arms could alone effect, has here been esta- 
blished in the native mind. It may have driven from 
Chusan the rich and wealthy, who, disgusted with 
our ignorance of Chinese customs, were offended 
with the impartiality of our administration of law. 
But when time shall have blunted the sense of private 
wrongs, it is to be hoped that a rule, so just and 
incorruptible in its character, in contrast with the 
corruption of their own officers, will live in the 
recollection, and exercise a salutary influence upon 
the minds of all classes of the inhabitants. 

At the present time a good understanding and a 
friendly spirit of co-operation exists between the Bri- 
tish authorities at Chusan and the Chinese Mandarins 
at Ningpo, as far as it has been required in the mutual 
surrender of criminals and fugitives. Complicated 
cases of law are generally handed over to the che- 
heen of Ningpo ; and in consideration of the speedy 
resumption of Chusan by the Chinese, most matters 
of legal dispute are referred to them for permanent 
adjustment. By many persons it is believed that the 
Chinese Government either have succeeded, during 
the last four years, in secretly levying the land-tax in 
Chusan, or intend, on their resumption of the island, 
to levy the whole arrears of taxation. The British 


authorities have, however, done all in their power to 
throw the shield of their protecting influence around 
the defenceless inhabitants. Proclamations have been 
issued, bearing the signature of his Excellency the 
Governor of Hong Kong, promising full indemnity 
and protection in all cases of wrong inflicted here- 
after on those connected with the British. Every 
thing has been done, both by conciliation of the 
native authorities and by protective measures on be- 
half of the people, to facilitate the transition of 

One Protestant Missionary only, from the American 
General Assembly's Board of Missions, is now sta- 
tioned at Chusan, residing within the city, where he 
intends to maintain his position, till summoned by the 
Chinese to quit the island. The experiment which 
he is thus about to make of the liberality and forbear- 
ance of the Chinese, will be awaited with much inter- 
est and anxiety. The expulsion of the East-India 
Company's commercial agents more than a century 
ago, after a year or two of supposed toleration in 
Chusan, is a precedent which leads us to cherish only 
a faint hope of any prolonged residence of foreigners 
being permitted after the resumption of Chusan by 
the Chinese.* As a sphere of Missionary exertion it 
resembles the general character of Ningpo. The 
dialect is the same, the character of the people is 
similar, the salubrity is greater, and, under a Euro- 
pean rule, the prospects of permanency for educa- 

* Recent letters from China bring the intelligence that both the 
Protestant Missionary and the Romish Padre have been compelled to 
leave Chusan. 


tional institutions would have been highly favourable. 
A beautiful island, with a fine climate and a peaceable, 
well-disposed population, under the paternal influence 
of just government, would have been a promising and 
inviting field for Missionary exertion. We leave the 
lovely island of Chusan with regret ; but with adoring 
submission to that unseen hand of Providence, which 
directs every event to the purposes of the divine glory 
and the welfare of mankind. 

The absence of any marked feelings of regret on 
the part of the inhabitants generally at their return to 
Chinese rule, and the positive joy at the prospect 
cherished by large numbers, are facts of interest at 
the present juncture, and give birth to many reflec- 
tions on the real nature of their own Government. 
Although relieved from all taxation, and possessing 
opportunities of gain without fear of extortion under 
the British, they prefer their own Mandarins with all 
their faults. The reason is plain, and extorts an en- 
comium on their internal organization, which has been 
reluctantly and tardily accorded to them. The Go- 
vernment of China is probably the best pure despotism 
that ever existed. There is an influence of public 
opinion, a strong national feeling, which will survive 
the downfal of the Manchow, as of former dynasties. 
The petitions of the people of Ningpo and Amoy 
after the late war, on behalf of their deposed 
Mandarins, the prevalent desire of the people of Chu- 
san to revert to their native rule, and the cohesion 
of the nation for so long a period, prove that, amid 
many anomalies and imperfections, their system of 
government contains much that is essentially good ; 
and that the people are ordinarily better ruled than 


we should have thought possible in a nation destitute of 
a free representative Government, and unenlightened 
by the spirit of Christianity. Under a different state 
of things, the people of Chusan would have hailed 
the continuance of British rule as a deliverance from 
the oppressive yoke of native rulers. 






ON the evening of October llth I embarked on board 
a schooner, bound for Shanghai, and weighed anchor 
on the following morning. The breeze, which was at 
first moderate, began to freshen from the south, and 
we soon passed through the islands to the westward of 
Chusan. In a few hours we doubled the southern 
headland of the island of Kin- tang, and sailed along 
within sight of the city of Chinhai. From this point 
our course lay northward to the Yang-tze-keang The 
violence of the tides, as we crossed the bay of Chapoo, 
was such as to render it necessary to make allowance 
for the current by keeping the head of the vessel a 
few points from the true course. By midnight we 
were off Gutzlaff's island, and at day-break we en- 
tered the river. There being no land in sight, the 


position of the vessel could only be ascertained by 
soundings, which gave, for some time, only three fa- 
thoms, and afterwards five fathoms. The bank of the 
river soon appeared on our left, and the low flat island 
of Tsung-ming lay at a distance on our right. With 
the wind and tide in our favour, we rapidly sailed up 
the narrow channel, and by ten A.M. came to anchor 
at Woosung. 

Here I hired a native boat to convey me to Shang- 
hai ; but the strength of the breeze, which was con- 
trary, together with the dashing of the water over 
our little craft, soon convinced me of the imprac- 
ticability of our reaching the city during the day. I 
determined, therefore, on disembarking at the village 
of Woosung. Here I procured a chair, in which I 
proceeded across the country to Shanghai, leaving my 
boy to bring up my luggage and bed in the boat by 
the next morning. As usual, the bargain had to be 
struck, which caused half an hour's earnest debating 
with the peasants, before we could succeed in mode- 
rating their exorbitant demands for bearing me. Be- 
fore leaving the boat at Woosung, I had selected a few 
books to distribute at the different hamlets on my 
way to the city. Some of the loungers on the beach 
at Woosung caught sight of them, and followed me 
with their importunate requests. I gave away about 
twenty copies amongst them ; but their eagerness 
overcame their sense of propriety, and I had reason to 
remember the long nails on their fingers, which had 
been brought rather roughly in contact with my hand. 
They afterwards surrounded my chair, and could with 
difficulty only be restrained from helping themselves, 
as I buttoned up my coat closely to the collar. I 


passed over the same line of country as on a former 
occasion, and arrived at Shanghai by sunset, thoroughly 
drenched with the rain, which had descended in tor- 
rents. Here I was soon comfortably lodged in the 
house of my brother M'Clatchie. 

A residence of three months in the city of Ningpo, 
and also for nearly one month in the island of Chu- 
san, since the period of my former visit to Shanghai, 
enabled me to form, on the spot, a comparative esti- 
mate of the peculiar advantages and facilities for the 
work of Christian Missions, which they respectively 
afford. It may not, perhaps, be deemed inopportune 
to subjoin in this place, a statement of some of the 
principles and reasons, which have influenced the 
Church Missionary Society to select Shanghai and 
Ningpo as their first Missionary Stations in China. 

Viewing, in all its comprehensive bearings, the pro- 
bable influence of a Mission in China on the prospects 
of Christianity in the East endeavouring to estimate, 
at their just value, the existing indications of a pro- 
gressive movement in the native mind examining, in 
the mirror of God's word, the present leadings of Pro- 
vidence and tokens for good and, above all, assured 
of the final overthrow of falsehood, and the victory of 
Christian truth the Church Missionary Society have 
felt that Missionary efforts for the conversion of the 
Chinese ought to be taken in hand, in a spirit of faith 
in some degree commensurate with the glorious object 
in view, and on a magnitude of scale worthy the 
Church to which they belong. 

To concentrate and consolidate our Missionary work 
on some definite field, which can be strongly occupied, 
is obviously a preferable course to that of scattering 


our divided and weakened forces over an extended 
line of coast, among a diversity of dialects and native 
character. To avoid one error, however, it is not 
necessary to run into the opposite extreme of narrow- 
ing our sphere of exertion, so as to limit all our 
attention to one spot. 

If we wish to select one of the newly-opened ports 
of China, and make it the solitary advanced picquet in 
invading these vast regions of error, the mind is per- 
plexed in the choice between Shanghai and Ningpo. 
The former promises to become the grand commercial 
emporium of the north ; and, as a nucleus of foreign 
intercourse, and, in a mercantile point of view, already 
inferior to Canton alone, it offers the advantages of a 
frequent communication with Europe, by vessels sail- 
ing direct to Shanghai, without touching at Hong Kong. 

The latter, as a quiet Missionary Station, exempt 
from the usual deteriorating influence of a foreign 
mercantile community, presents facilities of a different 
kind. Ningpo approves itself to most persons as the 
more desirable station, considered solely in reference 
to Missionary work ; but seems to be too retired a spot 
to be the solitary seat of a Mission. Time, expe- 
rience, and the course of events, will alone show the 
real superiority of each, separately considered. But 
if both are occupied, and each place is thus made to 
blend its peculiar advantages, they present one of the 
most magnificent fields of Missionary enterprise, that 
the Christian Church could desire. 

On the one hand, 

1. Shanghai is the port of Soo-chow, from which it is 
distant about fifty miles the metropolis of classic lite- 
rature, of taste, and of fashion the Oxford of China a 


centre of influence, whence the rays of native philoso- 
phy are dispersed over the millions of educated Chinese. 

2. Looking beyond the events of the present time, 
and contemplating the possible extension of foreign 
intercourse with the interior, we regard Shanghai also 
as the key to Nanking, the old capital of the Empire, 
and distant only about 200 miles. 

3. Again, it commands the entrance of the Yang- 
tze-keang, forming, by its junction with the Grand 
Canal, the vast central artery of wealth and com- 
merce, which supplies life and warmth to the most 
distant extremities of the empire. 

4. Occupying a central position, midway on a line 
of coast running nearly 2000 miles from north to 
south, of all the free ports it approaches nearest to 
the present capital, Peking. It lies within fifty miles 
of the 32d degree of north latitude, beyond which 
British vessels are prohibited, by treaty, from sailing 
within a distance of 150 miles from the coast. 

5. If the presence of foreign influence be deemed a 
valuable adjunct to its other advantages, Shanghai (as 
.before intimated) already possesses an extent of com- 
merce exceeding the united amount of all the other 
free ports, exclusive of Canton ; and, as such, must 
become an important rendezvous for native merchants 
from the interior. The importance of this position 
for disseminating the Gospel through the interior, by 
means of a native agency hereafter, can scarcely be 

6. Lastly, if we take a large view, and extend the 
eye of faith over the boundless expanse unexplored 
and unoccupied by Missionary labourers, we behold, 
in either of these two stations, the bright spot from 


which the light of truth might penetrate the darkness 
brooding over Japan, the Loo-choo islands, and the 
surrounding archipelago. To the south-east lie the 
interesting group of the Loo-choo islands, within three 
days' sail in either monsoon. To the north-east we 
behold Japan, with its pagan millions, so long shut 
out, by exclusive jealousy, from intercourse with 
Christendom, within little more than three days' sail 
with a favourable breeze. 

On the other hand, 

Ningpo, lying about a hundred miles to the south of 
Shanghai, and enjoying many of its advantages in a 
modified degree, possesses additional independent 

1. The population, from the limited extent of its 
foreign commerce, is less exposed to the disquieting 
contaminating influences on their simplicity. 

2. The literary character and social refinement of 
the people of Ningpo have acquired a celebrity 
throughout the empire. 

3. Ningpo is the usual point of access to the popu- 
lous city of Hang-chow, which is the capital of the 
province of Che-keang, and is inferior in importance 
only to Soo-chow. 

4. It has also an extensive native trade with the 

5. Lastly, its situation on the mainland, opposite to 
Chusan, invests it with an important character, under 
a variety of future contingencies, of which it places us 
in a position to avail ourselves. In the event of a 
recurrence of hostilities, Chusan would probably, as 
in the last war, be immediately occupied by British 
troops ; and, once re-occupied, it requires no prophetic 


wisdom to predict its permanent retention, and its 
probable substitution for Hong Kong, as the base of 
British power. This would open Chusan to Missio- 
nary efforts ; and Missionaries from Ningpo, speaking 
the same dialect, would be ready at once to enter on 
this fertile, salubrious, and populous island, without 
destroying, but rather cementing, the compactness of 
the two other stations. 

At both places the climate is favo arable for 
Europeans of ordinary physical strength ; the boun- 
dary regulations permit a considerable extent of Mis- 
sionary exertion ; the people are friendly and re- 
spectful to foreigners ; the rulers evince no dispo- 
sition to oppose the efforts of Missionaries ; and the 
dialects of Shanghai and Ningpo, though dissimilar, 
resemble each other more than at any other two of 
the consular cities of China. Should unforeseen cir- 
cumstances, therefore, lead to a change of scene of 
Missionary labours from one place to the other, the 
inconveniences under this head would be considerably 

Viewed, therefore, as combining in themselves the 
several distinct advantages of salubrious climate, 
eligible residence, and friendly disposition of the in- 
habitants of direct communication with Europe 
of comparatively quiet isolation from foreigners 
of contiguity to the strongholds of native science 
of local proximity to the second largest city in the 
empire of importance in regard to Chusan of 
central position in reference to the whole of China 
and of future bearings of the most magnificent order 
on the evangelization of the surrounding archipelago 
the united Missionary Stations of Shanghai and 


Ningpo may, without hesitation, be asserted to present 
one of the noblest and most promising fields in the East. 

Their largeness of scope, and their central position 
amid surrounding regions, where one unexpected event 
of Providence may place millions of idolaters within 
reach of Christian philanthropy, point out these two 
cities as uniting in themselves facilities and advantages, 
for which we may look in vain in any other two stations 
on the coast of China, open to foreigners. 

At the period of my second visit to Shanghai, the 
Missionary services were conducted in the same 
manner as on my former visit. The friendly dispo- 
sition of the people towards foreigners remained 
unabated, though sometimes exposed to the danger 
of interruption from the conduct of the crews of the 
European and American vessels in the river. Shang- 
hai is a second Liverpool, in the extent of its com- 
merce and in the various races of people attracted 
thither by gain, who compose the lowest classes of its 
population. Whole streets are tenanted by the men 
of Fokeen the Irishmen of China men of ardent, 
impetuous, and enterprising minds, but turbulent and 
irascible withal. It is vain for foreigners to attempt 
any overbearing conduct towards this spirited race. 
A blow for a blow, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for 
a tooth, is their maxim of daily life. The Chinese 
generally, in these more northerly cities, would as 
soon think of encountering a legion, as of attacking 
individual foreigners, whose athletic powers of bodily 
strength they are apt to overrate. But the men of the 
Chinchew junks have already begun to break this spell 
of terror. Some incipient symptoms may be already 
traced of their increasing determination to resist the 


aggression of foreigners. Two or three of the mer- 
cantile residents, who flourished their sticks rather 
incautiously over the heads of these junk-men, were 
speedily disarmed and put to an ignominious flight. 

This incautious demeanour towards the natives on 
the part of the better class of foreigners, and the 
occasional excesses of the foreign sailors temporarily 
visiting the port, are the principal danger to Missio- 
nary exertions at Shanghai, and the great obstacle to 
the extension of our general intercourse with the 
respectable Chinese in all the consular cities of 
China. The foreign trade at Shanghai is rapidly in- 
creasing. Fourteen vessels of large size were at this 
time in port. 

The following fact, which occurred during my stay, 
may be mentioned as an instance of the importance of 
Shanghai in regard to the interior of China. 

One of the Missionaries was visited by a Chinese 
merchant from the interior, a member of a new phi- 
losophical sect, who had banded themselves together 
to effect a reform in morals, and to correct the pride 
and avarice of their countrymen. This merchant's 
favourite scheme, after hearing the Missionary preach, 
was the possibility of grafting Confucianism on Chris- 
tianity, or Christianity on Confucianism, and combining 
the excellence of both systems. He made many 
inquiries about the nature of the Trinity, and whether 
the Holy Ghost was not merely the intelligent soul of 
the man Jesus. Many other similar questions showed 
the bias of his thoughts, and the real sincerity of his 
desire of knowledge. The greatest stumbling-block 
to his mind seemed to be the exclusive claims of 
Christianity to truth, and its condemnation of all other 


systems of morality and religion as resting on funda- 
mental error. 

The same Missionary was also engaged in a Chinese 
publication, which possessed a considerable degree 
of interest. A British merchant had liberally placed 
a thousand dollars at his disposal, for incurring the 
expense of re-editing a native work on geography, 
which had lately made its appearance. This was the 
production of no less a personage than the celebrated 
Commissioner Lin. This functionary, who bore so 
prominent a part in the early proceedings attending 
the collision with Britain, had suddenly, re-appeared 
on the political arena. Instead of being dead,"* as 
report affirmed, he had regained the imperial favour, 
and had been elevated to the high position of viceroy 
of two of the interior provinces. The restoration of the 
disgraced minister is some proof that the old anti- 
European or conservative party at Peking still possess 
a considerable influence in the imperial councils. 
The geographical work alluded to was composed 
during the period of his disgrace, and has been full of 
interest to the Chinese literati. Though" it abounded 
with many errors and mis-statements respecting 
Western nations, it contained much that was cre- 
ditable to the understanding and knowledge of its 
author ; and, when pruned of its inaccuracies by the 
English editor, will become a useful text-book to the 
Chinese on the statistics of foreign lands. 

During my stay at Shanghai I took frequent walks 
through the city, in which I was generally accom- 
panied by my friend M'Clatchie. On one occasion 
we formed the acquaintance of a schoolmaster, whom 
I afterwards re-visited, with a present of books for 



himself and the more intelligent of his pupils. The 
master and his assistant were sitting at different ends 
of the school, each listening to the recitations of a 
pupil. Each boy stood with his back turned on the 
teacher, and, rocking from side to side, enunciated, with 
breathless haste and in a' loud singing tone, some pas- 
sage from the Ta Heoh. The teacher had a pen, with 
which he inserted marks in the book, as the pupil 
proceeded with his lesson. My entrance discomposed 
the gravity of the boys, and was near producing the 
exercise of a severe act of discipline on some of the 
juniors. The boys, who were sitting at their desks, 
screamed out their lessons at the top of their voices, 
which is an essential part of study in a Chinese 
school. The noise and uproar of a few boys at their 
study is no slight disturbance to the unfortunate 
Chinaman, who occupies the adjoining dwelling. 
Each of the elder scholars took some tracts, with 
the permission of the teacher, in order to carry 
them home to their parents. The master was very 
polite, and rather excessive in his acknowledgment 
of the favour conferred on him by my visit. The 
listless look and quiet manner of the seen-sang would 
hardly prepare a visitor for that stern correction, 
which Chinese teachers sometimes apply to the indo- 
lence of youth. The strange posture of the pupil, 
who turns his back on the master in order that he 
may be unable to look over the book, is rather con- 
trary to European ideas of propriety. It has given 
rise to a characteristic phrase, pei shoo, literally " to 
back a book," which has the general meaning " to 
repeat memoriter," from this practice of boys turning 
away their face from those who hear their repetitions. 


The teacher of my friend M f Clatchie was an 
extraordinary specimen of this class of seen-sang. He 
had attained the literary rank of sew-tsai, and his 
degree made him almost intolerably vain and con- 
ceited. Keaou seen-sang was about sixty years of age, 
retained much of the energy of youth, and seemed to 
revel in a paradise of self-complacency, when we sat 
to listen to his magniloquent intonations of the 
classics. The impassioned gesture and literary 
enthusiasm of Keaou would have led us to believe 
that his mental enjoyment was very great, and the 
ideas conveyed by the composition very sublime. But 
on translating the immortal fragment, it was frequently 
found to consist of some such sentiments as these : 
" He who makes just agreements, can fulfil his pro- 
mises ; he who behaves with reverence and propriety, 
puts shame and disgrace to a distance ; he who loses 
not the friendship of those whom he ought to treat 
with kindness and respect, may be a master." 

Notwithstanding his recent detection in an act of 
petty meanness, almost amounting to dishonesty, in a 
pecuniary transaction, and a severe reproof which he 
lately received for attempting to excite prejudice in 
a Budhist priest who visited my friend, by instilling 
into his mind objections to the inelegant style of the 
Chinese Scriptures, he still retained very lofty notions 
of his dignity. Of this the following was an example. 
While engaged in instructing his reverend pupil in 
Chinese, he took an opportunity of explaining the 
various gradations of rank, and the conventional 
appellations of respect current in polite society. He 
said, " It is usual to apply the term sze-foo, ' doctor,' 
to learned scholars, like myself, distinguished in 

u 2 


literature. To an inferior gentleman, like yourself, a 
literary student, it is usual to give the title laou-yay, 
1 sir.' " He then concluded these conceited remarks 
by the modest request, that my friend M'Clatchie 
would issue an order to his servants always to address 
Keaou by the title of sze-foo, or doctor. 

On another occasion, his pupil was about to throw 
away a piece of paper, which was inscribed with some 
Chinese sentences. The old man affected great sur- 
prise and indignation at the dishonour done to litera- 
ture. After making some verbal remarks, he proceeded 
to indite a little essay on the honour due to writing, 
which he afterwards presented to his pupil, to prevent 
future acts of the kind. A translation of this rare 
document would have afforded more amusement than 
instruction to the Western reader. It furnished a 
true specimen of Chinese logic, and of that remarkable 
stagnation of intellect, which their puerile course of 
education tends to create and perpetuate. At the 
same time, the fact indicated a respect for the written 
character, the universal prevalence of which feeling 
among the Chinese is of incalculable advantage in the 
distribution of Christian books, and furnishes an en- 
couraging hope, that these written messengers of truth 
will meet no mutilation from the hands of the people. 

In one of our excursions through the city, we passed 
through the different portions of the extensive range 
of buildings, which form the public offices of the che- 
heen. As we were examining the judgment-seat, 
and listening to the proffered explanations of the by- 
standers, respecting a recent case of corporal punish- 
ment with the bamboo, one of the convicts appeared 
among them, bearing a large wooden collar, which 


was to be worn for four months. The culprit seemed 
to be in very good spirits, though rather the worse in 
appearance for his encumbrance, which projected two 
feet in each direction from under his neck. On 
further inquiry, it appeared that he was only the sub- 
stitute for a richer man, who had been sentenced for 
theft to wear the wooden collar for four months, but 
had succeeded in buying the services of a poor man 
as his deputy in undergoing the slow torture. One 
month of the period of punishment had already 
elapsed. The real convict was pursuing his usual 
business in a distant part ; and in three months the 
collar-bearer would be released, with a pecuniary 
reward for his four months' captivity and disgrace. 
Meanwhile, the dignity of Chinese law suffers in the 
public estimation, and the humiliating fact is pro- 
claimed from the august seat of justice, that money 
has the power of atoning for crime, and purchasing 
an exemption from personal punishment. Hence it 
is no wonder that, among a people whose only plea- 
sures are of a sensual kind, and under a Government, 
in whose eye riches cover a multitude of sins, money 
should have become the sole divinity enshrined in 
every man's affections. 

We sat for some time in a suite of rooms occupied 
by policemen and jailors, a set of noisy, ill-looking 
gamesters, whose vocation had not improved their 
manner nor their physiognomy. We were permitted 
to look through the bars into some of the prison-cells, 
the inmates of which eagerly gathered around the 
door, and appeared to be in very good spirits, if a 
judgment might be formed from their animated con- 
versation and light-hearted humour. 


Oct. 21st I went to see the military exercising 
their musketry in a large open space near the lesser 
southern gate. They advanced in companies, with 
intervals of ten feet between each man; and, after 
discharging their matchlocks, ran back a few yards to 
re-load. Meanwhile another party advanced to the 
same spot, and, after discharging their pieces, as 
rapidly retreated. Their matchlocks were of most 
clumsy contrivance and rude construction. There 
was a larger kind of gun borne to the attack by two 
men, one of whom supported it on his shoulder a few- 
inches from the muzzle, and the other, supporting 
the stock, took aim and discharged the piece. The 
exhibition looked very much like child's play, and 
seemed to be viewed as such by the assembled 

On a subsequent occasion I had also an opportunity 
of witnessing a sword-exercise at the same place, in 
which various military evolutions were performed. 
Their skill consisted chiefly in piling up their shields 
in fantastical combination, so as to form a little wall 
or testudo, behind which they sometimes retreated to 
escape the darts of assailants. At another time, the 
more advanced ranks threw themselves on the ground, 
and covered themselves with their shields ; while 
those in the rear passed over them, treading on the 
shields in their advance. There was also a sham- 
fight, in which the combatants raised a loud yell at 
every blow which they dealt, in order to strike terror 
into their adversaries. When the exhibition was at an 
end, the subordinate officers approached a raised area, 
at a little distance, to receive the harangue of a mili- 
tary Mandarin who presided on the occasion. 


In a later part of the same day, as I was sitting to 
rest myself in the shop of a tailor, who had lately 
arrived with his partners from Ningpo, several Chinese 
assembled outside, and began to converse with each 
other about foreigners. One of the Chinese was a 
tradesman, just arrived from Soo-chow. He asked me 
if I was not one of the two Englishmen, who had lately 
secretly visited Soo-chow. On my replying in the 
negative, he entered into a long conversation with the 
men of Ningpo, during which I heard him apply the 
term, quei-tze, or " devil," to the Englishmen. I 
interrupted him, and showed my strong disappro- 
bation of such an insulting expression. The man 
looked startled and ashamed, and soon watched his 
opportunity of taking a sudden departure, when I 
reminded him that a proclamation of the Mandarins 
rendered such an expression a punishable offence. 
The shopmen seemed very annoyed at the occur- 
rence, and explained that he was no acquaintance of 
theirs, but a mere casual visitor. They said, that he 
was a bad man, " not understanding the principles of 
decorum, and destitute of politeness." These were 
the most galling epithets to which a Chinese ear 
could listen ; and the man of Soo-chow had to hear 
this reproof, before he could effect his exit. 

Oct. 2&th As I was proceeding, in a chair, towards 
the European factories, then in course of erection, the 
taou-tai was borne along in state through the street. 
My bearers quickly laid down my chair by the side of 
the way close to the wall, and all business seemed for 
a few minutes at a pause, as the great Mandarin 
approached. First of all came a couple of men fan- 
tastically dressed, and behind them, at the distance of 


a few yards, two executioners. Soon after, two men 
bore those common implements of justice, the Chinese 
bamboo, while two more bore immense thongs, or 
whips of leather. The taou-tai then passed in his 
chair of state, while the usual retinue of a few horse- 
men brought up the rear. His appearance was that 
of a grave, thoughtful old man, with long white beard 
and moustachios. Whether my bearers took the liberty 
of dropping me down in the street from curiosity, or 
from conventional respect to their chief magistrate, I 
could not be certain ; but was inclined to believe that 
it was from the latter feeling, and that to have with- 
held this customary homage would have exposed them 
to the danger of correction. 

Before leaving Shanghai I had an opportunity of 

reading a translation of a public document, purporting 

to be a proclamation of Pe-chang, viceroy of the 

" Leang Keang," in which publicity was given to an 

edict of Ke-ying, the Imperial Commissioner for 

transacting negotiations with foreign nations. This 

document was explanatory of the former edict of 

universal religious toleration. In this second edict, 

the latter functionary proceeded to define the term 

teen choo keaou, " the religion of the Lord of Heaven," 

contained in his former edict respecting the toleration 

of Christianity. The term was now restricted' to 

" those who worshipped the Lord of Heaven, and 

venerated the cross" paying respect to images, pictures, 

and saints. The second edict proceeded to prohibit 

ill-disposed persons from diffusing their religious 

opinions, under the pretext of being comprised under 

the term teen choo keaou, to prevent which dishonesty 

the limitation of the term was professedly made. 


Some of the expressions furnished ample internal 
evidence of Popish, and probably French influence 
having been employed with the Chinese authorities. 
It will afterwards be seen in what way this unfair par- 
tiality was rectified. 

On Oct. 27th I bade farewell to my dear friends, 
M'Clatchie, Bishop Boone, and the other Missionaries 
at Shanghai, and embarked on board a British brig 
for Chusan. We set sail the next morning, and pro- 
ceeded about five miles down the river, till the unfa- 
vourable tide compelled us to drop anchor. During 
this delay I landed on the south bank of the river, in 
order to distribute tracts, but found none of the 
villagers able to read. I ascertained, however, that 
there were some Roman Catholics, at the distance of 
a le (one-third of a British mile), who were able to 
read. After proceeding with a guide in that direction, 
about half the distance, I was hastily summoned back 
to the vessel, a favourable wind having sprung up in 
the meantime. I left the books with my conductor to 
take to the village, who promised to fulfil my request. 

After anchoring for the night at the mouth of the 
Woosung river, we sailed the next morning, with 
wind and tide in our favour, down the Yang-tze-keang. 
It was a beautiful day, and the voyage was ex- 
tremely pleasant. A little before sun-set, however, 
the vessel was suddenly laid almost on her beam-ends 
by a white squall, which, coming on without the 
slightest warning, and unattended with either rain or 
clouds, so often dismasts vessels in these seas. Our 
vessel was, for a few moments, in great confusion, and 
we expected our masts to give way before the violence 
of the squall. After a scene of considerable disorder, 


we were again enabled to run on in our course under 
reduced sail. The captain, for a time, hesitated about 
anchoring, at sun-set, under the Rugged Islands ; but 
as the wind had moderated, and there was good 
anchorage throughout the bay, through which our 
course lay, he determined to sail on for a few hours 
till we reached some of the islands further south. He 
afterwards repented of his decision, the wind soon 
increasing to a violent gale, which carried us at the 
mercy of the elements, in the dark of night, with only 
one sail set, at so rapid a rate as to endanger the 
strength of the chain-cable if we ventured on casting 
anchor. After two hours' great anxiety, as it was 
conjectured that we were near some of the rocky 
islands which lined the shore in all directions, at 
nine P.M. the order was given to let go the anchor, on 
which the vessel swung round, and, amid furious 
tossings and drivings, rode out the storm in safety 
during the night. A merciful Providence preserved 
us from destruction, as we were borne towards a lee- 
shore in a tremendous sea, all our lives being for the 
time suspended on the weakest link which held us to 
the anchorage. 

The next morning revealed to us our position 
amongst rocky islands on nearly every side. Soon 
after day-break, the wind having moderated, we were 
able to pursue our course through the narrow but 
deep channel of the Blackwall passage ; and, after en- 
countering baffling winds, anchored a little outside 
Chusan harbour in the evening of October the 30th. 








AFTER a stay of a few days in the city of Tinghai, on 
Nov. 5th I carried into execution the long-cherished 
project of a visit to the Budhist priests in their sacred 
island of Pootoo. I was accompanied by a native 
servant and a crew of five Chinese, in a boat which 
carried two sails, and was covered over at the top 
by a semicircular arch of matting stretched on hoops. 
This covering rose nearly five feet from the deck, so 
that a person could move about in a stooping posture. 
Within this part of the boat my bed and that of my 
boy were stowed in separate corners, and a pot of 
charcoal at the other end served to cook our provi- 
sions. The wind and tide being unfavourable, we had 
only proceeded three miles to the east of the harbour, 
when we were obliged to anchor and wait for the 


change of tide. Here, within twenty yards of the 
shore, our little vessel was moored, and my Chinese 
companions laid themselves down to sleep. After 
enveloping myself in furs, and patching up some old 
sails to form a shelter from the wind at our cabin's 
head, I soon contrived to follow their example. After 
two or three hours, the noise from the neighbouring 
junks, hauling up their anchors, roused me from my 
slumbers, but not my sleepy crew ; whom I could with 
difficulty induce to draw up the anchor, and propel 
the boat by sculling, it being now slack-water. 

We continued to stretch along the southern shore 
of the island of Chusan, which was here lined with 
villages of salt-makers, as the continuous heaps of 
dirty deposit on the beach indicated. At length we 
passed through the channel called the Sin-kea-mun, 
on the northern side of which was a large village, 
with one or two houses bearing the marks of English 
design in their construction. Here there was a little 
fleet of fishing-boats lying at anchor. The barren 
sides and summits of the hills in this part would fail 
to impress on a stranger the real fertility of the in- 
terior of the island. 

As we passed through the Sin-kea-mun, a junk of 
piratical appearance excited the suspicions and fears 
of our crew, who, after sailing a little distance outside, 
returned within the passage, and anchored close to 
some other vessels. Here they decided on remaining 
till a change of tide, without pushing across the open 
sea, a few miles, to Pootoo, now dimly descried by 
starlight in the distance. We slept as well as the 
roaring of the waves, the violence of the wind, and the 
dashing of the surge permitted, till about midnight ; 


when we availed ourselves of the changing tide, and, 
beating against the head- wind, succeeded, by means of 
frequent tacking, in crossing the open channel to Poo- 
too. Our course was rather tempestuous, and required 
no little agility in clinging to the side of the boat, as we 
rolled from side to side. At length, after two hours, 
we arrived on the beach, and were saluted by the dis- 
cordant cries of about a dozen boatmen making inqui- 
ries. Various altercations arose during their endea- 
vour to haul the boat ashore from her present awkward 
and uncomfortable position, where every swell of the 
waves dashed her up and down on the rocks. After 
clearing my little apartment of some Chinese, who 
wanted to sleep around me, and whose honesty I was 
not disposed to trust, I got a little sleep before morn- 
ing. I was awoke some time before day-light by the 
bells and beating of wooden sound-boards, to which 
the priests in an adjoining temple were timing their 
idolatrous matins. 

On disembarking from the boat, and walking a few 
yards on the beach, I found that we had taken up our 
position in a little bay, sheltered by some projecting 
headlands of rock, on the south-eastern side of the 
island. The first object which attracted my notice 
was a retinue of coolies, bearing a number of bags of 
rice to one of the temples, from some of the temple- 
lands on the adjacent islands. The bags were in- 
scribed, in large characters, with the name of the 
monastery to which they belonged. Every now and 
then a priest would approach the boat, and gaze on 
us while we partook of our morning meal. The 
whole vicinity bore marks of the indolent quietude, 
which forms so predominant a characteristic of the 

302 THE " PAH-KWA." 

system of superstitious error, which here reigns in all 
the power of ancient renown. 

Soon afterwards I went in a chair to explore the 
different localities of the island. I had first to pass 
under a gorgeous arch, of apparently recent construc- 
tion, with sacred emblems and Chinese inscriptions 
painted on the boards of which it was composed. 
Turning to the left, I ascended several flights of steps, 
overhung by stately trees. I passed through a series 
of minor temples, till at last I entered the principal 
square, where several of the priests were observed, 
some engaged in working, some in cooking, and others 
in the idle effort to pass away their time. The build- 
ings were in a dirty state, but the stone steps were in 
tolerably good repair. The whole assemblage of 
buildings was included under the name Pah-kwa. 
Some of the lower class of priests stared, others 
laughed, and a few examined my books ; but scarcely 
one of the priests in this temple could read fluently 
and witliout hesitation over each character. 

After leaving this place, I ascended a hill which 
extended along the eastern beach, with huge columns 
of rock on the left, inscribed with sacred maxims. 
I soon came to a kind of grotto, crossing the road on 
the high ground ; from which, as I slowly descended 
by a well-paved path, with a pretty avenue of shrubs 
on either side, I gained a full view of the beautiful 
range of temples, which, under the name of Seen-sse, 
form the principal monastery in Pootoo. After passing 
under a monumental stone arch, I turned to the left 
through a fine open space, from which an elegant 
bridge lay across a small lake, with its green floating 
bosom of lotus-flowers. I advanced into the principal 

THE " SEEN-SZE." 303 

court, and found myself speedily surrounded by a 
number of priests, some of whom were men of intelli- 
gence and education. Here, on applying the usual 
test of reading the title-page, I found comparatively 
few persons who were unable to read the characters, 
and consequently my supply of books was in great 
request. During this process of distribution, a bell 
was heard ringing a summons to a meal in a temple 
at a short distance, on which my new acquaintances 
suddenly scampered off, like hungry school-boys, in 
the direction of the dining-hall. I was left alone 
with a few of the workmen and other secular per- 
sons, connected with the temples and permitted 
to reside on the island. On going myself, shortly 
afterwards, in the same direction, I approached the 
hall as the priests, about thirty in number, were chant- 
ing a grace to the idol, before partaking of food ; after 
which the process of consumption began in right 
good earnest, rice and broth being the only articles 
which supplied their meal. 

Leaving the Seen-sze, and defiling to the east, along 
a row of shops, I passed, by a flight of ascending steps, 
to the top of the next hill. I was carried over a series 
of rugged precipices overhanging the sea, and re- 
sounding with the billows dashing wildly beneath, 
with all the bold sternness of the stormy ocean 
stretching far away on the horizon. The wide expanse 
of watery surface was occasionally dotted by a little 
island, or well-nigh concealed rock, where the white 
foam of the breaking waves alone pointed out to the 
mariner the latent danger. After proceeding, by a 
gradual descent, over a distance of another mile, be- 
tween hedge-rows of woodbines and bushes, enclosing 

304 THE " HOW-SZE." 

scanty areas of cultivation on either side, I at last 
passed through a little cluster of trees, from which I 
emerged before an old dilapidated tower. This ruin 
formed the entrance to the other principal monastery 
of the island, named the How-sze. It was situated in a 
natural amphitheatre of rugged rocks sheltering it on 
the north, and was overhung by clumps of trees 
dotted up the hill-side, the whole presenting a pleas- 
ing object to the eye amid the surrounding wild. The 
chilling blasts of winter had begun already to strip the 
woods of their luxuriance, which was shown by the 
naked state of the trees, and the withered appearance 
of the branches. Here the priests volunteered many 
acts of civility, and brought refreshments of tea and 
sweetmeats, while I availed myself of their curiosity 
in presenting tracts and portions of the New Testa- 
ment to those who could read. One man, who seemed 
to partake of the general curiosity, and to be in no 
way destitute of an average degree of intelligence, I 
discovered to be deaf and dumb. Some of the priests 
appeared here to be a low vulgar class of men. 
Though respectful to myself, they ventured on taking 
a few liberties with my Chinese boy, who resented the 
affront on his pride and dignity by angry looks, till at 
last his ire was greatly excited by an old priest pre- 
suming to touch his queue of hair behind. On my 
being conducted to the apartments of the abbot of 
this monastery, who shares with the abbot of the 
*Seen-sze the jurisdiction of the island, the usual 
scenes of such introductions recurred. The abbot 
stated his name to be Yung-nang. A repast was set 
out, of which I partook. My boy, who was smartly 
attired, here took the liberty of passing himself off 


for a gentleman, and accepted the abbot's invitation, 
with evident delight at his newly-estimated import- 
ance. He continued eyeing me all the time, and was 
half afraid of my mortifying his dignity by some dis- 
covery of our real relative situations, while he coolly 
took his seat at the table, and bowed gracefully to 
every remark addressed to him by the abbot. A dirty 
ill-looking priest begged importunately for money for 
the idol, as I took my departure from the outer court. 
On the way back I turned into a few lesser temples, 
remarkable for nothing but their indolent priests and 
dirty courts. The general appearance and useless 
unprofitable lives of these bare-headed closely-shaven 
monks, formed but a poor comment on the boasting 
self-complacent inscription, which, in large characters, 
on one of the neighbouring rocks, was intended to 
impress the visitor with the sanctity of the place and 
its priests Chung kwo yew shing jin, " The Central 
Kingdom possesses holy men." 

I afterwards turned aside from the broad path to 
the left, by a little by-way leading from the Seen-sze, 
which conducted us, close by a pretty stone pagoda 
and a number of larger tombs, to a little temple, 
overhanging the sea on the south-eastern extremity of 
the island. Here I expected to find an old priest, 
above seventy years of age, who was well qualified to 
give information respecting the island, on which for 
so long a period of life he had been a quiet inhabitant. 
Instead of the intelligent old man, who had only a 
fortnight before been found a useful and valuable 
informant to a Missionary friend who then visited 
Pootoo, I was only in time to gaze on the bare coffin 
which inclosed his remains, and before which the 


lurid glare of sepulchral lamps was shedding a dim 
and mournful lustre. The superstitious emblems of 
death were strewed in profusion around that chamber 
of the dead ; but the solemn realities of the eternal 
world seemed in no way present to the minds of the 
by-standers. One man was daubing a coat of varnish 
on the exterior of the coffin. Two priests looked on 
and indulged in their usual vein of light-minded fri- 
volity, replying to my questions about the deceased 
with the utmost indifference. He had died of old age 
about five days before, having been preferred, by 
seniority of standing, from the principal monastery, 
the Seen-sze, to this little temple, which contained 
two other priests, and of which he was the superior. 
These lesser establishments are a kind of incumbency, 
or college-preferment, to which the monks succeed, in 
course, according to the seniority of their fellowship. 
A new superior was about to arrive from the mother- 
temple, to succeed the deceased. It was an affecting 
spectacle to mingle with this exhibition of silver 
paper-money, incense sticks, and funeral lamps, over 
a corpse unillumined by the hope of the Gospel, and 
uncheered by any other joy, in the last agony of 
death, than that of virtual annihilation. After pro- 
ceeding down the side of a hill, and over a few hun- 
dred yards of sandy beach, I arrived at the boat, after 
a trip altogether of seven miles. 

Later in the day I ascended a hill close to the land- 
ing place, in a northern direction, till I reached a 
little temple called the Ying-sew, containing fifteen 
priests, of kind manners, some of them being also 
men of intelligent minds. On entering the first large 
building, which contained the principal idols, I was 



soon surrounded by the usual number of priests, eager 
to receive books. One middle-aged priest was sitting 
at a table before the large images of the three Budhs, 
with the apparatus of worship before him ; and, amid 
the loud talking of some, and the boisterous laughter 
of others, pursued his hurried repetitions of " O-me-to 
fuh" beating time on a piece of hollow wood. Nothing 
could move his equanimity, or disturb his devotion ; 
and it was not till half-an-hour after, that he joined 
our party in an adjoining court, where the priests had 
been performing the rites of hospitality. One of 
their number was a man from Fokeen, who spoke the 
Mandarin dialect, and seemed to be a person of more 
than ordinary education and ability. He was about 
thirty-five years of age, thirty of which he had 
spent in the temple as a priest. I observed that the 
better order of priests were almost invariably those 
who in childhood had been dedicated to the priest- 
hood. The others were an inferior class of men, 
generally with little education, and of doubtful cha- 
racter. From this priest I received various particu- 
lars of information respecting the island. After ex- 
plaining the general statistics of the place, and the 
different localities of the neighbourhood, he informed 
me that the island of Pootoo had been ceded to the 
Budhists, as an endowment for the diffusion of their 
religion, by one of the Chinese emperors of the Han 
dynasty. This date would make the origin of their 
religious endowment contemporaneous with the ear- 
liest centuries of the Christian era. In reply to my 
inquiry, at what date Budhism was supposed to have 
entered China, he expressed his inability to give me 
the desired information, and seemed to think me 

x 2 


unreasonable in trying his antiquarian knowledge on 
so obscure a matter. He said that Pootoo had seen 
brighter days, and spoke with regret of the degeneracy 
of the present age, in respect of zeal for idolatry. 
He especially mentioned the fact of there having been 
three hundred more priests on the island a century 
ago ; and accounted for the diminution in their number 
by the want of interest and devotion shown by the 
people on the mainland, who suffered the temples, 
one after another, to fall into ruin, without incurring 
the expense of rebuilding them. The endowment of 
the temple, in which he himself resided, arose from 
200 mow of land, assigned to it as its revenue in the 
opposite island of Chew-ko-tze. Besides this, they 
enjoyed an uncertain revenue from the offerings of 
casual devotees visiting the sacred locality. He did 
not like to specify the average annual amount of these 
offerings ; and, as there were several by-standers list- 
ening, he appeared desirous of avoiding that subject. 
He stated his opinion, that, out of every hundred 
priests in Pootoo, only twenty were men of education ; 
but that the greater number could decipher individual 
characters, though unable to understand a book; a 
distinction which ought always to be borne in mind in 
estimating the real progress of education among the 
Chinese. On my leaving, they followed me in a body 
to the outer gate. 

In the evening I took a short excursion to the top 
of a hill overlooking the Seen-sze, where I met ten 
priests going to a funeral on the beach. They in- 
vited me to accompany them, and put several ques- 
tions to me on our way. Among other similar inqui- 
ries, showing the real current of their affections, amid 


all the affected sanctity of the cloister, were the fol- 
lowing : " How far is it to England ? How many 
days' voyage is it to your country ? Does it possess 
much silver ? Is it a rich country ? Has it any idols 
or priests? May we go with you to England?" I 
told them that they were welcome to go with me to 
England, if they were willing to defray the expenses 
of the voyage. On their learning the amount of the 
passage-money, they seemed to abandon as hopeless 
the idea of ever reaching a land, in which they appa- 
rently thought that dollars might be picked up like 
pebbles on the sea-shore. 

On arriving at the beach, we were joined by some 
other priests, whose arrival raised their number alto- 
gether to twenty. Preparations were now made to 
lift the coffin from the boat to the shore. This was 
done amid much noise and levity, the boatmen scold- 
ing each other, and the priests exchanging jokes and 
loud laughter. The deceased was a priest of the 
island, who had died at Ningpo in the course of his 
excursions on the mainland, and had been brought 
hither, a distance of seventy miles, for interment in the 
sacred soil of Pootoo. His death occurred about a 
week previously, and the process of corruption had 
already commenced. After the coffin had been landed 
and placed on some stools for support, the customary 
preparations took place, and a procession was formed 
by the priests, who advanced in couples. A dirge 
was chanted, accompanied by the tinkling of a bell 
and the beating of a sound-board. Three other 
priests, who seemed to be related to the deceased, 
placed incense-sticks, candles, and fruit on a table 
before the coffin, and bowed to the ground, knocking 


their foreheads against the stones, before a small tablet 
inscribed with the name of the deceased. After this, 
a layman, who was said to be the adopted son of the 
deceased, proceeded to bow, in adoration of the de- 
parted spirit, with due form and solemnity. Imme- 
diately after rising from these prostrations they ap- 
proached me, and asked several questions with the 
utmost unconcern. The priests were frequently talk- 
ing, and even laughing, in the midst of their chant. 
The lay-relative, who was not more than twenty years 
of age, asked me if I could give him some opium- 
medicine. He admitted that he was addicted to the 
indulgence of smoking opium, and stated his inability 
to abandon the habit, although he was desirous of 
being freed from its power. One of the priests also 
asked me for the same medicine, but denied that he 
smoked opium, saying that he wanted it in order to 
cure a friend of the habit. The funeral-procession 
soon moved slowly off to the place of sepulture, about 
a mile distance, amid a continued beating of gongs to 
affright the evil spirits. 

Two shopkeepers, attached to the Seen-sze, soon after- 
wards joined me. They made several inquiries about 
the books which I had distributed, and the object of 
my visit to Pootoo. They asked if persons, who em- 
braced the Christian religion, were permitted to eat 
animal food and drink wine ; which questions were 
naturally suggested by the abstinence from these par- 
ticular articles of diet, professed by the Budhist 

The next morning 1 proceeded to visit some remote 
localities, situated at the northern and western extre- 
mities of the island. After pursuing my way about 


three miles to the How-sze, I turned by a devious path 
on the left, and ascended the steep acclivity known 
by the name Fuh ting shan, " Budh's highest hill." In 
some parts the ascent lay over steep flights of stone 
steps, with which the hilly parts of the island abounded. 
From the summit a fine view was gained of the sea 
and the numerous surrounding islands ; and in order 
to remind the stranger of the extensive dominion of 
the deity, who ruled these realms of superstition, the 
inscription stood forth from the projecting rock in 
large and legible characters, Hai teenfuh kwo, " the sea 
and the heaven are Budh's kingdom." After descend- 
ing a little distance on the other side of the hill, amid 
a small avenue of cedars and cypresses, I arrived at one 
of the lesser temples of the island, containing twenty- 
five priests. The name /|jj^ fuh, " Budh," met the eye 
in every direction, with other inscriptions calculated 
to impress the visitor with the sanctity and harmony 
of these hermits in their retreat from the busy world. 
At the entrance there sat the sleek smirking idol of 
Budh, with the body gilded over, and blue tresses of 
hair on his head. The priests were very illiterate 
and ignorant, scarcely three of the whole number 
being able to decipher a character. The place, also, 
was overgrown with filth, and bore evident marks of 
decay. The vacant stare and half-idiotic appearance 
of these poor creatures produce^, a gloomy feeling, 
which the fine view of the sea on the opposite side 
of the island failed for some time to dissipate from my 

Later in the day I went over some fields along the 
western beach, in which several husbandmen were 
pursuing their labour. My visit caused them some 


little interruption, from the difficulty which they ex- 
perienced in subduing the mad impetuosity of their 
buffaloes, who seemed to be unaccustomed to barba- 
rian features, and disposed to rush to an attack. I 
returned by a circuitous route, passing through some 
quadrangles of the Seen-sze on my way. Here I found 
that the abbot, the principal authority in the island, 
was absent at Ningpo. Some of the other priests 
invited me to take some tea ; and on my entering a 
large hall, I saw some of the books, which I distributed 
on the preceding day, lying on the tables in different 
parts of the room. As I sat among them, they showed 
many acts of civility, and said that they would not 
object to my coming to reside on the island ; in which 
event I should receive good treatment from them. 
Actual experience might hereafter prove these assu- 
rances to have been insincere. I could, however, see 
no reason at the time to doubt their sincerity. There 
appears to be so little religious bigotry among the 
Chinese, that there is reason for believing that the 
feelings of self-interest, in the gain of a few dollars 
from rent of lodgings, would, in the minds of the 
priests, outweigh all considerations of fear for their 
religion or zeal for their superstitions. 

In the middle of the day I met a tradesman on the 
beach, who had just landed from Tinghai. He was 
dressed in his best clothes, and brought with him a 
number of presents. He told me that he was come 
on a pilgrimage to Pootoo, for the purpose of making 
an offering to the idols. On my endeavouring to show 
him the folly of worshipping lifeless objects, and ex- 
horting him to worship the one true God, the Creator 
of heaven and earth, he remained some time with me, 


and promised to accept my invitation to visit me on 
his return to Tinghai, at the house of my Missionary 
friend, within the north gate of the city. He pleaded 
the power of custom as his only inducement to the 
practice of idolatry ; and seemed to be influenced 
more by a feeling that it tended to good luck in his 
trading business, than by any regard to the character 
and objects of his devotions. 

In the afternoon we set sail, with a fair wind and 
favourable tide, and, after a rapid passage of three 
hours and a half, arrived in the harbour of Chusan. 

The scenes of curious interest, among which I had 
been mingling, were calculated to awaken many con- 
flicting emotions. The most careless mind, when 
brought into such a vicinity of monastic brotherhoods 
and temple endowments, and led to observe the marks 
of design which pervaded these institutions, as a grand 
and diversified machinery for the diffusion of Budh- 
ism, could not fail to be struck with the mutual 
affinities which exist between the various systems of 
error, and to exclaim, " How faithful a counterpart 
this of Popery ! " A more magnificent scheme could 
hardly be conceived or devised for the external diffu- 
sion of Budhism, and the maintenance of its hold over 
the popular mind. The project is one worthy the Pro- 
paganda of Rome in the most palmy days of her acti- 
vity and priestcraft. At the present time above six 
hundred priests reside on the island, in the leisure and 
moderate affluence of an ample endowment. Three 
hundred other mendicant friars and itinerant priests are 
generally absent in the neighbouring provinces, sub- 
sisting on the alms and offerings of the superstitious. 
Bound by their vows to a life of celibacy, they are left 


free from the cares of domestic life, to pursue, with- 
out distraction, the work of proselytism. After a sea- 
son of active exertion, they return to this isolated spot, 
associated with all the ancient glories of Budhism. 
Here they are permitted to refresh their weary bodies 
and exhausted minds with the natural beauties of 
scenery, the quiet solitude of contemplation, and a 
deeper initiation in the mysteries of their order, ere 
they pour forth anew their invigorated energies on 
the millions of the Chinese empire. The prescription 
of antiquity, and the devout liberality of ancient 
monarchs, have done all they could to enhance the 
external influence of the brotherhoods. The whole 
island, which is about one hundred le (thirty miles) in 
circumference, forms, together with the smaller adja- 
cent islands, the territory of the principal abbot resid- 
ing in the Seen-sze. This ecclesiastic divides a portion 
of his authority with the superior of the other principal 
monastery, the How-sze. Free from all payment of 
revenue to the Imperial Government, Pootoo is left 
under the sacred control of the principal Bonze. He 
acts as governor in matters of an ordinary kind ; and 
only in penal matters, which demand a more rigid 
correction than the mild restraints of sacerdotal rule, 
is a reference made to the chief magistrate of Tinghai. 
The priests are chiefly from the neighbouring province 
of Che-keang ; but a large number flock hither from 
the more distant provinces of the Empire. In the Seen- 
sze one hundred and fifty monks reside, and in the How- 
sze about eighty. There are also seventy-two lesser 
temples scattered over the island, with their resident 
inmates, all of them occupying the most romantic 
spots. The secularizing influence of female society is 


not permitted to allure these devotees from their ab- 
stractions. No women are permitted to dwell on this 
consecrated soil. Three hundred individuals of secu- 
lar callings, whose services are deemed necessary for 
the tillage of the soil and the supply of the necessary 
wants of the priests, are alone allowed to remain on 
the island. But the privilege extends not to the dead : 
only priests can be buried in Pootoo. No secular 
bones are permitted to whiten on the sacred soil, or 
to defile the sanctity of the place. Every thing, which 
human foresight could devise, has been conferred on 
Budhism, to enable it to make a gigantic and syste- 
matic effort for the amelioration of mankind. It has 
here enjoyed ample scope for the exercise of its influ- 
ence : it has found a fair field for the development of 
its inherent powers for good or evil. And yet, sup- 
ported alike by the favour of the powerful and the 
partialities of the multitude, Budhism has achieved no 
results ; and seems destined ere long to fall, from 
mere inherent decay, irrespectively of accelerating 
causes from without. For a justification of this belief, 
we look not only to the dilapidated state of their tem- 
ples, and the illiterate character of their priests, but 
also to the evident signs of contempt among the 
people. To this ^nay be added the obvious marks of 
scepticism among the priests themselves, in whose 
deportment there is seldom to be seen any indication 
of their own belief in the superstitions which they 
practise. Some might be tempted, in the view of this 
metropolis of Budhism, to give utterance to the wish, 
that Christianity possessed such a vantage ground for 
dealing its assault on the kingdom of darkness. In 
such a wish we do not sympathize. Armed with the 


panoply of heaven, the evangelists of the pure gospel 
of Christ must be content to go forth, like their Master, 
trusting in the inherent power of His cause, rather 
than in the machinery of man's contrivance. Assured 
of the final subjugation of error, and of the triumph 
of Christian truth, it is for them to sow, even amid 
tears and discouragements, the good seed of His word, 
looking to the dews of divine grace, and the life-dif- 
fusing Sun of Righteousness, for an abundant harvest 
of joy ; when, in the kingdom of their common Father, 
" both he that soweth and he that reapeth shall rejoice 




THE difficulty and delay experienced in obtaining a 
passage down the coast to the city of Foo-chow, de- 
tained me another month at Chusan, during which 
time I remained under the hospitable roof of the only 
other Protestant Missionary in the city of Tinghai. 
On the Sabbath I continued to hold a service in the 
joss-house near the barracks for the European troops, 
a few of whom also availed themselves of our family- 
service on Thursday evenings. During the first few 
days, the quiet monotony of daily occurrences was a 
little diversified by the general rejoicings and street 
illuminations of the Chinese, on the occasion of the 
birth-day of the emperor's mother. The approaching 
evacuation of the island by the British had evidently 
unsettled the minds of all the respectable classes of 
Chinese ; and the effect of this feeling was frequently 
observable in their fear of paying visits to my Ameri- 
can friend, and their unwillingness to be seen reading 
Christian books. Although the parents of the pupils 


had previously agreed to bind their children by arti- 
cles of indenture for a term of years, to insure their 
non-removal before the completion of their education, 
they now evinced a reluctance to comply with the 
condition, and to affix their signatures to the writing. 
They disavowed any personal objection, but professed 
to entertain an alarm, lest any connexion of this kind 
with foreigners might draw on them the notice of the 
Mandarins, and expose them to extortions on the de- 
parture of the British. They therefore requested to 
be permitted to wait till things were in a more settled 
state. The edict of toleration, issued by Ke-ying, 
was on such occasions shown to them, with which they 
professed to be abundantly satisfied, saying, " There is 
nothing foreign in this document : there is no possibi- 
lity of mistaking it : it cannot be a forgery, for the 
style is such as only a Chinese can have indited." 

For a time they appeared satisfied ; but soon after 
again betrayed their fears. At this period matters had 
almost assumed the appearance of a general panic 
among all who had money to lose. The merchants 
and shopkeepers, who had acquired any gain by con- 
nexion with the British, had every thing prepared for a 
general and sudden emigration on the departure of 
the troops. Some intended to remove to Shanghai, 
and others to different parts of the mainland, till 
the first storm of official cupidity and displeasure 
had blown over, when they would watch their op- 
portunity of returning. The edict of the British 
Governor of Hong Kong had been affixed to the walls 
of the public streets, inviting a disclosure of any future 
cases of oppression on the return of the Chinese 
Mandarins, and promising full protection to those 


who should be punished for their connexion with the 
British. The permanent retention of the island by 
the British, and its occupation by the French, were, 
in turn, the subject of report among the Chinese. 
The rumoured diplomatic difficulties between the 
British and Chinese plenipotentiaries, relative to the 
entrance of foreigners within the city of Canton, served 
also to increase the general excitement. Some of the 
more patriotic Chinese even ventured to breathe into 
American ears their suspicions of the integrity of the 
British, whom they denounced as seeking an excuse 
for breaking the treaty, and retaining possession of 

On Nov. 14th I proceeded, in a chair, with a friend, 
across the island to the beach on the northern shore. 
We pursued our way through the north gate of the 
city; soon after passing which, we turned a little to the 
right, and ascended the hills through a long series of 
wild mountainous paths. The narrow road was in- 
tersected by the deep beds of torrents, and skirted 
on either side by numerous rustic dwellings, with 
little patches of vegetation surrounding them. We 
at length reached the principal mountain-pass, from 
which we had a fine view of a long fertile valley, 
which extended before us to the sea. After passing 
through several homesteads and hamlets, we at last 
stopped an hour in a large village, at a druggist's 
shop, who bade us welcome, and helped us to cook 
our meal of rice, eggs, and tea. Meanwhile a num- 
ber of villagers gathered around us, and the few 
who could read received some books. Two miles 
further on, we remained some time on the beach, 
while the Chinese salt-makers explained to us the 


process of successive evaporations by solar and 
culinary heat, by which the sea-water is converted 
into salt. Large shallow sheets of sea-water on the 
sand, a few pits for filtering the briny fluid, and a 
number of sheds with furnaces and flat brazen 
vessels, formed the apparatus for the manufacture of 
salt, which forms so important an article in the native 
produce of Chusan. At this point several thousands 
of acres of rich, alluvial, loamy soil stretched away to 
the hills five miles distant. This fertile plain, bear- 
ing its two or three crops of annual produce, would 
be sufficient to supply ten times the amount of the 
present population of the island. As we returned 
to the city, we visited a distillery, the apparatus 
of which, although more rude and less complex than 
in Western nations, was capable of producing a spirit 
of great strength and very intoxicating effects. In 
one of the villages a Bonze was officiating among 
a crowd at the idolatrous services usual at the full- 
moon festival, the gongs and drums being audible 
at a great distance. At the highest point of the 
mountain-pass there was a little assemblage of idols 
in a rude kind of temple. One of the images repre- 
sented the goddess of mercy, in the usual attitude of 
a male infant in her arms, which a European visitor 
might easily have mistaken for an image of the Virgin 

During the latter part of my stay at Chusan, the 
frequent wailings of funeral processions showed the 
prevalence of sickness among the people. On one 
occasion I was attracted to a house, in which two 
priests of the Taou sect were endeavouring, by noises, 
to drive away the evil spirits, and to procure, by a 


feast set out before the idols, the recovery of a sick 
woman in the family. On my entering, I was 
speedily taken to her bedside, and was entreated to 
prescribe some remedy for her disease. After re- 
buking their folly in trying to effect her recovery by 
such superstitious means, I gave her a temporary 
remedy, till a day or two after, when I took her with 
me to the house of an American physician, just arrived 
in Chusan, and received his directions as to the mode 
of treatment. This, being followed out for a few days, 
was the means of completely restoring her,although she 
had been given over by the native practitioners. Her 
recovery was a subject of thankfulness to my mind, as 
I was afraid that, in case of her death, the priests 
might attribute the event to the anger of the offended 
idols. The gratitude of the family was very great, 
and the case procured me some reputation for 
medical skill. I had several visitors, who followed 
out my course of treatment, although I enforced a 
rigid interdiction of the use of tobacco and samshoo 
while they took my medicines. I had also, by these 
means, an opportunity of distributing some tracts in a 
few private families. These little occurrences served 
to deepen in my mind a conviction of the importance 
of medical Missionary efforts, when kept in their 
subordinate place, as mere subsidiary means in pre- 
paring the way for Christian evangelists in this heathen 

On Dec. 9, 1845, an opportunity presented itself of 
my proceeding to Foo-chow, in a little schooner in 
ballast, touching at Chusan on her way from Shang- 
hai to that port. Embarking at nine A.M., I found 
myself in another hour passing gradually out of sight 


of this beautiful island, in which I had been permitted 
to spend several weeks very happily, in the quiet 
retirement of a Christian family. A steady breeze 
and favourable tide bore our little craft steadily along ; 
and the fair blue hills of Chusan were soon lost in the 
dim distance. Passing beyond Ketow point, we at 
length arrived at a little island, which had a hollow 
cavern running through it, and hence derived its name 
of " Buffalo's nose," from a fanciful resemblance to 
that object. Between this and another small island 
to the east we anchored for the night. On the fol- 
lowing morning, the thick, rainy weather, increasing 
to a dark mist, prevented our weighing anchor, and 
we remained off the island the whole day. During 
the succeeding night a little fleet of trading junks, 
with two war-junks, anchored within a cable's length, 
the two latter vessels being stationed one off each 
bow of our schooner. This was the occasion of our 
carronades and swivel-guns being loaded, and a sharp 
look-out was kept on our new neighbours. All this, 
however, was unnecessary, as, at the first dawn of day, 
they quietly left the anchorage, and sailed in a body 
to the south, keeping close to the shore. In the fore- 
noon we weighed anchor, and, with a strong breeze 
from the north-west, soon passed beyond the Kwesan 
group of islands into the open sea. During the day 
we sailed very fast ; and fearing lest, before the fol- 
lowing day-break, we should over-run our course, 
we shortened sail during the night, and on the 
following morning drew in sight of land. During 
several hours we passed between some islets and 
the mainland, at one time sailing in smooth water, 
and soon afterwards emerging into some bay of the 


open sea, which indented the coast. The thick, cloudy 
weather prevented us from ascertaining our position 
by an observation of the sun, and no one on board was 
able to recognise the coast. After sailing forty miles 
between rugged, precipitous islands, we were com- 
pelled, at sunset, to come suddenly to anchor in deep 
water, under a small island, with but little shelter from 
the violence of the wind, and with a lee-shore about 
half-a-mile distant. After an uncomfortable night of 
tossing and driving, the next morning we again pro- 
ceeded on our course to the southward. A Ningpo 
junk sailed by us as we were weighing anchor, and we 
had hopes of finding our true course by following in 
her track. We soon, however, lost sight of her, as she 
sailed through some little passage close to the main- 
land, where we were afraid to follow her. Steering 
to the south-west between the shore and an irregular 
range of islands lying ten miles outside, we suddenly 
discovered our position in time to avoid running on 
the reef at the mouth of the river Min, which lay 
before us. We had suddenly to alter our course, and 
to beat against the wind, which was blowing hard, 
till we came to an anchorage under an island called 
Ma-choo san. Here we rode at anchor for the night, 
close to a little village of fishing-boats, which was 
situated on a little sandy level point in a narrow bay 
to the south of the island. 

The next day, Sunday, Dec. 14th, two fishermen 
came on board to volunteer their services as pilots, for 
which they claimed a rather exorbitant reward. But 
as they soon became more reasonable in their de- 
mands, the bargain was struck for the sum of five 
dollars, and they were duly installed at the helm. On 

Y 2 


their first coming on board, they crossed themselves 
repeatedly on the forehead, cheeks, and breast, after 
most approved Roman-Catholic fashion, which seemed 
not a little to please our Malabar steward, and ap- 
peared to be generally understood by our Indo- 
Spanish crew of Manilla men. The inconvenience of 
the different dialects soon began to show itself. The 
Canton linguist, who could also speak the Mandarin 
dialect, tried in vain to get a reply to his question, 
rt How far is it to Foo-chow ?" But although for 
nearly ten minutes the phraseology was varied in 
every possible way, the parties were as far from under- 
standing each other as at the commencement; and 
the pilots, with a significant waving of the hand, 
begged him to desist from the useless effort. Subse- 
quently, however, they appeared to be more successful, 
as, within half-an-hour afterwards, the linguist came 
with a request from them to the captain for a glass 
of spirits, which they drank off in a manner that indi- 
cated a not unfrequent use of the beverage. Our 
captain, not being quite confident of their skill or 
trustworthiness as pilots, gave orders to keep casting 
the lead, and sounding the depth of water. This our 
new acquaintances appeared to take ill, waving their 
hands as if to deprecate our distrust. They succeeded 
in bringing us safely around the bank, which forms 
the principal danger in the navigation of the entrance 
to the river. Passing over the bar, we at last entered 
the fine circular harbour, formed by the projecting 
points of the mainland and two or three little islands. 
The roadstead stretched before us seven or eight 
miles, to the point where the river suddenly narrowed 
itself into a little channel about half a mile across. 


Three opium-ships were stationed here outside the 
consular boundaries of the port, with about fifty native 
junks close by. Immense flocks of wild fowl were to 
be seen in all directions. A few villages on the beach, 
with some watch-towers on the sides of the hills, and 
a number of bold mountain-cliffs rising sternly in all 
their wild magnificence, and closing in the distant 
prospect, formed a fine specimen of the rugged and 
picturesque scenery, which is the general charac- 
teristic of this iron-bound coast. We had not an- 
chored long outside the narrow passage called Kin-pai 
mun, before the usual assemblage of Chinese boats, 
many of them containing a very depraved class of na- 
tives, came alongside, as avarice or curiosity prompted 
their owners. 

The next morning, leaving the schooner, I pro- 
ceeded in a European boat up the river about twenty 
miles to the city of Foo-chow. After entering the 
Kin-pai mun, we passed a large village named Kwan- 
tow on the right, where there was a Mandarin-station, 
with a custom-house establishment. The river at this 
point was about a mile across, being hemmed in on all 
sides by huge towering rocks, which were variegated 
and gilded with the sun's rays, so as to present almost 
every imaginable form, and glittered with the torrents 
and cascades rushing down the precipices after the 
recent rains. The combined influence of refraction 
and reflection raised every distant object above the 
horizon, and gave it a double appearance, the lower 
part having an inverted form. A succession of vil- 
lages and watch-towers extends on the right for several 
miles, till the sides of the river, suddenly converging, 
form another narrow pass called the Min-gan, witli 


columns of rocks on either side, piled up to the height 
of a thousand feet. Soon after, the river again widens, 
and at the Pagoda Island, the usual anchorage for 
vessels of large burden, divides into two streams. 
The principal branch leads to the city, and the other 
takes a southern course, rejoining the main branch of 
the river Min, about seven miles above Foo-chow, so 
as to inclose between the two channels a large island 
of well-cultivated land. We sailed up the principal 
channel, having the lofty range of the Koo-shan rising 
3000 feet on our right. There were a few villages 
below, and some little groves of pines on the opposite 
shore. We arrived at last at the bar, situated at a 
sudden bend of the river. At this point the larger 
number of junks, and increasing signs of busy acti- 
vity, indicated our approach to the provincial capital. 
After half a mile's intricate winding course between 
the native craft, we arrived in the densest part of the 
river suburbs, and went ashore close to a large bridge, 
which at this point crosses the river Min. 




IHE friendly kindness of a newly-formed acquaintance 
placed at my disposal, during my stay at Foo-chow, 
the upper story of a small boarded house, overhang- 
ing the river, and situated on a small island about a 
furlong in length. In this lodging my mattress was 
unfolded and spread after Oriental fashion, and I was 
soon inducted into my new dormitory. After a night 
of refreshing rest, the vociferating cries of my new 
neighbours the boatmen, carrying on their busy voca- 
tion on the water, effectually roused me at an early 
hour ; and sallying forth on a little kind of gallery, I 
had an opportunity of being a quiet spectator of the 
motley groups below/ A large number of boats, 
serving as family-residences to their humble owners, 
lined each bank of the river for about a mile on either 
side, the principal clusters being stationed around the 
little island, which blocks up the main channel, and 
divides it into two streams. Each boat was decked 


out with a number of flower-pots and evergreens, 
according to the taste or the means of the proprietor, 
and presented a pleasing object from above. The 
boatwomen wore a head-dress of artificial flowers, and 
exhibited a neatness unusual in that class. The tops 
of the boats and the roofs of the houses were covered 
with a hoar frost, which lasted for several days, ice 
being gathered on one or two mornings. 

The celebrated bridge of Poo-chow connects the 
little island with each bank of the river, and, pro- 
bably from the substantial and durable materials of 
which it is composed, is called the Wan-shoiv-keaou, 
or " bridge often thousand ages." The larger -bridge 
on the northern side consists of about forty arches, 
which are merely immense slabs of granite, thrown 
across at right angles with the piers. The lesser 
bridge on the south consists of nine similar arches. 
At high water vessels of small burden can pass up 
the stream by lowering their masts. At low water a 
cascade is formed from the higher part of the stream 
into the lower level of the river on the other side. 
The larger bridge is occupied by shops, and its nar- 
row thoroughfare is generally crowded by all kinds of 
busy wayfarers. Over this bridge I proceeded in a 
chair, on my way to the residence of the British 
Consul, between whose hospitable dwelling and my 
little lodging on the island I divided the time of my 
subsequent stay at Foo-chow. A long suburb, con- 
sisting of a single street, and abounding with every 
variety of trades and handicrafts, extended for more 
than two miles from the bridge to the southern gate 
of the city. Every part of it was thronged by the 
same noisy crowds of people, in whom were to be 


observed more pugnacious looks, and more frequent 
signs of intemperance, than are commonly seen in the 
northern parts of China. The frequent jostlings and 
blows from the chairbearers, inseparable from the 
crowded state of Chinese streets, were generally borne 
with their usual calm indifference. On a few occa- 
sions, however, I experienced no slight interruption 
from this cause, and my bearers were involved in 
trouble, being unceremoniously apprehended, to com- 
pensate the damage to various articles of domestic 
use, which they broke or upset in their eagerness to 
press forward. One literary gentleman, also, so far 
forgot the precepts of his philosophy, as to follow us 
for above a hundred yards, seizing every opportunity 
of beating most unmercifully the head of one of the 
bearers, who had brought the chair into contact with 
his person. The looks of the people were cold and 
forbidding, although their demeanour was not devoid 
of external respect. There was no rude assembling 
of a crowd, nor any noisy ejaculations at the presence 
of a foreigner. Generally, also, there was an absence 
of any troublesome outbreaks of curiosity. Our course 
lay through this long street, which was a fair specimen 
of Chinese streets in general. Here were to be seen 
the artisans of the various branches of native industry 
pursuing their busy work, and vending the products 
of their labour, in one and the same room, which 
served the triple object of workshop, warehouse, and 
counter. Here were crowded together in their nar- 
row dwellings, amid the din of forges and hammers, 
little groups of wire-drawers, braziers, button-makers, 
and smiths, with four men alternating their rapid 
blows on the sounding anvil. Here again were to be 


seen image- makers, lamp-makers, carpenters, shoe- 
makers, tailors, gold and silver leaf-beaters, umbrella- 
makers, cotton-beaters, grocers, druggists, jade-stone 
cutters, seal-engravers, and decorators, with the pro- 
fessors of the numerous arts which supply the neces- 
sities or luxuries of Chinese life. Further on were to 
be seen picture-shops, hung out with the tawdry per- 
formances of native artists, and caricatures of English 
admirals, colonels, ladies, and steam-boats. At every 
corner were to be seen portable kitchens steaming 
away, and supplying to hungry expectants the savoury 
materials of a hasty meal. For the more wealthy a 
succession of cook-shops, wine-shops, and tea-shops, 
lined the way. A little further on, a crowd of gam- 
blers disputed a few square feet of ground with the 
holders of orange-stands or the venders of sweetmeats. 
Near to these were the well-stored shops of pawn- 
brokers, or the decent exterior of shroff-bankers, with 
bunches of copper cash, in elegant imitation-work, 
hanging before the house as the emblem of their call- 
ing. Soon again we passed the usual crowds of china- 
shops, pipe-makers, grain-dealers, paper and tinfoil 
manufacturers, weaving-looms, silk-dealers, trinket- 
makers, and, lastly, a few book-shops, to indicate that, 
amid the general eager activity to supply the wants of 
the outward man, knowledge had its votaries, and the 
mind could here receive its appropriate intellectual 
food. Occasionally three or four Bonzes sauntered 
by, whose listless looks betrayed their little participa- 
tion in the busy cares of the world around them ; 
and whose sanctimonious garb afforded no protection 
from the rude jostling of the secular crowd. Now 
and then a few gentlemen, or expectants of office, 


passed along, borne on the shoulders of their less 
affluent countrymen. Lower down in the scale of 
society might be seen, every half mile, some wretched 
culprits, bearing the heavy wooden collar as a penalty 
of the broken laws, blowing at the scanty charcoal 
with which they sought to repel the pinching cold 
from their extremities, or trying in vain to obtain the 
denied slumber. Further onward again, the pos- 
sessors of liberty were assembled in a public tea- 
tavern, sitting over their beverage, to listen to an 
itinerant, scholar, who expounded for hire one of the 
ancient classics, or declaimed from his humble ros- 
trum on some exciting subject of popular romance. 
We soon entered the city, through the massive arch- 
way of the southern gate, and proceeded, by a sudden 
turn on the left, along the inner side of the city wall. 
After pursuing our way for another mile, - over a 
thinly-inhabited part of the city, we passed through a 
fine avenue of trees. The British union was soon 
after to be seen floating from a flag-staff on the over- 
hanging rocks, which crown the summit of the Woo- 
shih shan, or (< Black Stone hill." An ascent over 
alternate pathways and terraces brought me at length 
into full view of the romantic assemblage of pleasure 
grounds and ancestral temples, which form the site of 
the British Consulate. On this beautifully-wooded 
retreat the largest temple was in course of prepara- 
tion for an English residence, and was already par- 
tially inhabited by the Consul and his lady. The 
firmness of the late Consul, Mr. Lay, succeeded in 
effecting a removal of his official residence from the 
insalubrious vicinity of the river-suburb to its present 
agreeable site. The Chinese authorities exerted their 


influence with the priests of the principal temple, who, 
for the consideration of a few hundred dollars as annual 
rent, willingly abandoned theif- claims to the building. 
With that loose attachment to their religion, which 
is generally characteristic of the whole nation, the 
priests beheld with complacency their benefice and 
grounds changed into a foreign residence ; and the 
abbot himself, in the character of head-gardener, 
might be seen every day busily superintending the 
requisite alterations and repairs. Although taking the 
life of animals is a violation of a prominent article in 
the Budhistic creed, my old friend the abbot (for 
during my sta*y I had the pleasure of forming his 
acquaintance) would at all times readily afford his 
services in procuring for foreigners pheasants, geese, 
ducks, and any kind of game. The liberality of 
the Mandarins was perceptible in one of the con- 
ditions which they, of their own accord, introduced 
into their agreement with the building contractor ; 
viz. that the masons and carpenters should never 
perform any work on the Sabbath-day, nor in any 
way interfere with the religious observances of the 
English. In the same spirit the Mandarins, before 
paying the Consul a visit, frequently sent to inquire 
whether it was the Sabbath-day or not. The abbot 
also of an adjoining Taouist temple, with a re- 
markable absence of bigotry, for a small monthly 
sum has willingly admitted one of the officers of the 
Consulate as a tenant of a portion of the sacred 

From the top of Woo-shih shan, 500 feet above the 
surrounding level, a fine view is gained of the city and 
the adjacent country. As I sat on a corner of one of 


the projecting rocks, with the huge masses of stone 
lying around and aloft, the perennial monuments of 
one of nature's most violent convulsions, the quiet 
solitude of the spot where I lingered contrasted 
strongly with the busy scenes below, and the animated 
appearance of the adjacent country. At my feet lay 
the populous city of Foo-chow, with its teeming 
masses of living industry. At a little distance beyond, 
the undulating plains, which surrounded the city, 
retreated on either side, till they met a range of lofty 
hills, rising from two to three thousand feet in 
height. On the east, north, and west, at the distance 
of five miles, a slightly broken country terminated in 
some high precipitous ground, which formed a bold 
amphitheatre around the northern half of the city. On 
the south, a level country extended across the river, 
nearly twenty miles, to another series of hills, which 
closed in the prospect. The river, with its mean- 
dering turbid waters, pursued its rapid course from 
west to east, a depression in the outline of the distant 
hills showing the direction in which the river divided 
their range. The whole country around formed a 
circular basin, with a diameter of about twenty 

In the city itself the dingy expanse of houses and 
streets was relieved by a hill, which rose abruptly at 
the northern extremity, and was surmounted by a 
conspicuous watch-tower. On the south-east, another 
hill, rising from the level of the streets, and having its 
sides covered with interspersed dwellings and temples, 
rivalled in height the hill on which I was stationed. 
Two pagodas intervened between the two hills in the 
southern portion of the city. In other parts, high orna- 


mented wooden poles, or the bright red colour of the 
walls, denoted the various temples, or the residences 
of the great Mandarins of the city. The devious 
and irregular circuit of the city-walls, the strange 
forms of the city watch-towers, the more regular ap- 
pearance of the public granaries, and the verdant 
foliage of trees peeping forth from amongst the 
crowded streets, imparted some relief to the fatiguing 
similarity of objects. 

Such is Foo-chow, with its immense population, as 
the exciting impressions of that moment fixed its 
outline indelibly on my mind. The various sounds 
ascending from below ; the trade-cries and tinkling of 
bells from the crowded streets ; the beating of gongs, 
drums, and cymbals from the precincts of the tem- 
ples ; the noise of fireworks from the offerings of the 
superstitious, mingling inharmoniously with the guns 
announcing the exit of Mandarins from the city-gate ; 
the confused scream of the buzzard-hawk careering 
in its circling flight on high ; the flocks of minas, 
crows, and magpies, fluttering on all sides ; the shouts 
of men and the gambols of children, with the full tide 
of population borne along in the busy channel of toil 
and trade, stole on my ears, and convinced me of the 
reality of the animated masses which were mingling 
in the cares of life below. Only a few idle priests 
from the adjoining temples, some wandering beggars, 
some boys collecting fuel, or a few strangers who had 
come hither to catch a bird's-eye view of the provincial 
capital, disturbed the solitude of the spot, and helped 
to awaken the mind from the silent reveries of the 

It was no common trial, however, to my mind, as I 


gazed from the summit of this hill on the populous 
city below, to reflect, that here above half a million 
of immortal souls, spell-bound by idolatry or atheism, 
in the capital of one of the largest provinces of the 
Empire, the seat of a viceroy having two provinces 
under his jurisdiction, should nevertheless be desti- 
tute of a single Missionary labourer from Protestant 
lands, and that no effort should yet have been made 
to convey to them the inestimable blessings of the 
Gospel. It was a comfort to remember, in such a 
spot, that even China formed part of the purchased 
inheritance of Christ, and that her pagan population 
would hereafter become subjects of the kingdom of 

The next day I engaged a Chinese teacher, a native 
of the place, able to speak both the local and the 
Court dialects, who was to be employed in accom- 
panying me on my strolls as an interpreter, and 
in explaining any objects that might arrest my at- 

At the time of my arrival at Foo-chow, the relations 
which subsisted between the British Consul and the 
local authorities had assumed a character of more 
than ordinary interest. The late Mr. Lay, on his 
arrival in the latter part of 1 844, to open the port, 
had to encounter considerable obstacles in the unwill- 
ingness of the Chinese authorities to grant him a 
suitable residence, and the symptoms of a general 
disposition to slight his office. As it has been already 
intimated, persevering firmness and determined re- 
monstrances had surmounted these temporary dif- 
ficulties, and a growing spirit of liberality and respect 
towards foreigners had been excited. The removal 


of the Consulate into the city, and a frequent inter- 
change of visits, had gradually produced a friendly 
understanding with the Chinese authorities, which 
was also happily promoted by the present Consul. 
Repeated proclamations were issued, inculcating 
respect towards foreign strangers, and denouncing 
punishment against offenders. Things proceeded 
favourably, till about three months previously to this 
time, when a gentleman, attached to the Consulate as 
interpreter, as he was walking on the city wall, 
adjoining the quarter of the city inhabited by the 
dominant race of Manchow Tartars, was assaulted by 
a number of men, who pelted him with stones, and 
chased him from the spot. This assault was "made a 
subject of grave remonstrance with the authorities, 
and the threat was held out by the Consul of the visit 
of a ship-of-war, unless speedy reparation were made 
by the summary punishment of the offenders. Copies 
of his remonstrance were sent alike to the viceroy 
and the Tartar general, the latter of whom possesses 
exclusive jurisdiction over the Manchow part of the 
population, who form the garrison of the city. 
Although, at first, they treated it as a light matter, 
and issued a proclamation, in which, with a strange 
mildness of terms, they affected to speak angrily of 
the " breach of good manners " committed on the 
occasion of this assault on a stranger, the determined 
protest of the Consul against the terms of the procla- 
mation soon brought matters to a crisis. The Tartar 
general, in the paroxysm of his alarm at the possible 
consequences of a collision, arrested six Tartars for the 
offence, three of whom were punished with the bamboo, 
and the other three underwent the severe punishment 


of the cangue, or wooden collar, for a month. The 
novel and unprecedented event of a Mahchow Tartar 
wearing the cangue, from which mode of punish- 
ment they had hitherto enjoyed a prescriptive immu- 
nity ; and the humiliating announcement, attached as 
usual to the wooden plank, of the crime for which 
they were punished, and that, too, an assault com- 
mitted on a new-comer and a stranger, were doubly 
mortifying to the pride of this arrogant class of in- 
habitants, as it was also a subject of invidious exul- 
tation among the purely Chinese portion of the popu- 
lation. During the few preceding weeks there had 
arisen an evident improvement in the position of 
foreign residents. During my stay, I had frequent 
opportunities of testing the truth of this fact, and the 
result of this experiment will be seen in the following 
journal of daily occurrences. 

Dec. 18th I was carried in a chair on the city 
walls around their whole circuit, which formed al- 
together a distance of eight or nine miles. Ascending 
at a breach in the wall, close to the foot of the Woo- 
shih shan, I proceeded in a westerly direction. A 
little avenue, formed by the battlements on one side, 
and a little row of trees close to the wall on the other, 
skirted the lower part of the Woo-shih shan, with its 
beautiful assemblage of shrubberies rising up the hill- 
side. The wall itself varied in height, but generally 
averaged thirty feet on the outer side. The causeway 
on the top was of sufficient breadth in most places to 
form a road for a single carriage, and was of regular 
and even construction, although overgrown with grass 
along the edges. As Foo-chow is a garrison city, with 
a large provincial staff of civil and military Mandarins, 


the walls are guarded with great strictness, and there 
is a succession of watch-towers every two or three 
hundred yards, with a few cannon resting on carriages 
without wheels, and pointing outwards into the adja- 
cent country. From the clumsiness of this contrivance 
they are capable of being moved only a little way on 
either side, and can only be brought to bear point 
blank on any object or mark. Several of the sentries 
came around me as I examined the contents of these 
buildings, and betrayed some suspicion at seeing my 
note-book. Some of them were rather loquacious ; 
but their eloquence was employed in vain, as I could 
only comprehend one of their questions whether 
the cannon of my honourable country were made of 
iron or brass. Some lofty and beautiful trees in the 
fields, and a few ponds covered with the lotus-flower, 
fringed the outer portion of the wall. On the inner 
side some sheets of stagnant water, and a long range of 
public granaries, stored with provisions against sea- 
sons of dearth, filled up the space till we arrived 
at a building, which had the appearance of a city gate, 
but which proved to be the se-shwui-kwan, or " western 
water-barrier." A long cannon here guarded a wind- 
lass, which drew up or let down (as occasion might 
require) the sliding board of a large water-course. 
This was opened in order to carry off the drains and 
sewers of the city, but was closed in the time of inun- 
dations ; the water in the suburbs, on such occasions, 
rising far above the level of the city. We next came to 
the western gate of the city, which had a spacious colon- 
nade supporting a watch-tower, and afforded a view of 
the adjoining suburb. From this point, on the outer 
side, a large sheet of water, called the se-woo, or " west- 


ern lake," extended in a parallel course with the wall 
for several furlongs. A slight rising of the ground 
bounded it on the further side, where it had a temple 
and a few small bridges. Some boats and fishing-nets 
were also disposed at intervals over its surface. 

On our arrival at the north gate, about a mile and 
a half further on, the keeper followed me, eyeing my 
note-book, and showing, amid all his acts of polite- 
ness, evident signs of suspicion. The wall at this part 
began to ascend the lofty hill on the extreme north, 
which is included within the walls, and is surmounted 
by a large watch-tower, forming one of the most pro- 
minent objects to a visitor approaching the city. This 
tower overlooked the city and the surrounding coun- 
try, and had seven large stone furnaces, which served 
as beacons in case of fire or the approach of an 
enemy. Immediately outside the wall there was a 
precipice, 200 feet in depth, covered with irregular 
patches of trees. Beyond this rugged hill there were 
no suburbs. The country was bare and bald, but 
bore the marks of cultivation at a little distance out- 
side. On the inner side there were some villas, in- 
terspersed among gardens. Orchards of fruit-trees, 
lichens, and banians, with some cedars rising above 
coppices of dwarf-shrubs, pointed out the quiet retreat 
which wealth here afforded to its proprietors from 
the crowded parts of the city. Lower down the hill 
as the wall bended towards the east, the houses and 
dwellings were more isolated, and of a better kind. 
We soon after arrived at a portion of the wall, which 
bordered on the densely-inhabited parts of the city. 
The gate called Tsing-low-mun, with its three lofty 
stories, conducted us by a dark passage on the upper 



story, through heaps of rubbish and a rope manufac- 
tory, to the vicinity of the Manchow Tartar popula- 
tion. Here the keeper followed me for some dis- 
tance, and some Manchows passed, evidently subdued 
by the recollection of recent events, and not at all 
disposed to interrupt my progress. Passing another 
large water-barrier, with its three Manchow keepers, 
I arrived at last in the quarter of the city which, till a 
recent period, none but the Tartar race were allowed 
to frequent. The keepers gradually relaxed their 
scowling looks, as I distributed a few tracts among 
them, which they received with smiles, but soon re- 
sumed their anxious disconcerted air. I determined 
so far to humour their minds as to put out of sight my 
memorandum-book, which they regarded with evident 
dislike. Several Tartars now passed by, scowling in 
spite of their efforts to appear unmoved, and hardly 
daring to look towards me. Some few, with a fierce 
air, would hurry by my chair, without even lifting 
their eyes towards my person. I had declined the 
offer of an attendant from the British Consulate, that 
I might be better enabled, without the advantages of 
official protection, to test the practicability of such an 
excursion by foreigners. Frequent questions passed 
between the keepers and my teacher, the latter ap- 
pearing to be destitute of fear, and fully sensible of 
foreign protection. A keeper ran on before to the 
next gate, to report, with anxious looks, my approach, 
and to prevent any ebullition of popular excitement. 
I could not, therefore, be surprised at the crowd 
assembled at the Tang-mun, or "Hot-bath Gate," 
where the gift of a few tracts, however, soon produced 
polite bowings and a courteous reception from the 


officer in charge. The parts of the city adjacent to 
this gate, and to the Tung-mun^ or " East Gate," at 
which we next arrived, were occupied exclusively by 
Tartars, many of whom were practising archery at a 
target in a military exercising-ground below, and who 
desisted from their exercise in order to gain a view of 
the unexpected visitor, as I passed. A Manchow 
officer sent on three attendants to conduct me in 
safety to the next gate. They could all speak the 
Mandarin dialect, but, when speaking amongst them- 
selves, employed the Manchow language, which 
abounded with extraordinary intonations and inhar- 
monious sounds. They were generally dressed in 
military costume, with red caps and high boots, 
although most of them united some trade with their 
military calling. They had the appearance of being 
a haughty and arrogant race, whom a slight provoca- 
tion would excite. Nor were my Chinese bearers of 
the light-spirited garrulous class of people, with whom 
I mingled in the more northern parts. In a silent 
and serious mood they trudged onward, willing to 
meet every wish, but not enjoying a salient flow of 
spirits. After passing some marshy ground, skirted 
by a wretched class of habitations, we arrived at 
another of the water-barrier gates, where the polite 
bowing of the few remaining Tartars, whom I passed, 
seemed to indicate a desire to efface the remembrance 
of the recent assault on a foreigner ; although the re- 
membrance of the cangue probably exerted some in- 
fluence in prompting these civilities. 

The Kew-sin shan, or " Hill of the Nine Genii," soon 
after caused an ascent in the course of the city wall. 
A number of buildings, projecting from little rocky 


eminences, extended along its side to the summit. 
This hill shared, with the opposite hill of the Woo- 
shih shan, the southern side of the city. It had nume- 
rous inscriptions carved on its rocky columns, and 
commanded a fine view of the river, in its course to- 
wards the sea between the towering barrier of hills, 
which wall in the cultivated valley on either side. 
The Kwan-yin-meaou, or " Temple of the Goddess of 
Mercy ;" the Pih-tah, or " White Pagoda," of seven 
stories, with bushy shrubs issuing forth from crevices 
on the top and around its sides ; and the Shih-tah, or 
" Stone Pagoda," another half-dilapidated building of 
seven stories, with its branching roofs rising one above 
another, occupied the space between the foot of the 
Kew-sin shan and the Nan~mun, or "South Gate." The 
mercantile portion of the population are situated prin- 
cipally in the vicinity of this gate, on account of its 
proximity to the populous river-suburb of Nantai. 
Proceeding half a mile further, I at length arrived at 
the spot by which I had ascended the wall on my 
outset, the whole circuit of the city having occupied 
about three hours. 






THE next few days were occupied in an excursion a 
few miles up the river to another large bridge which 
crosses the Min, in visiting the temples adjacent to 
the Consulate hill, and in perambulating the different 
streets of the city. On one of the latter excursions, I 
proceeded from the south gate northward, into the heart 
of the city, through the principal street, called the 
Nan-mun-keae, or " South Gate Street." In this part 
the people were remarkably well-behaved in imposing 
restraints on their curiosity. Though they would 
throng around any shop into which I entered, they 
would always retreat on either side, so as to form a 
passage for me on my coming out, without being 


obtrusive or troublesome in their eagerness to watch 
my proceedings. These little crowds seldom ex- 
ceeded a hundred persons, and were very peaceable 
and orderly in their deportment. As I walked along, 
the outbreaks of their curiosity were generally con- 
fined to an attentive survey of my dress and person. 
The shops were of a superior kind, especially those in 
which European articles were exposed for sale, watch- 
makers occupying a few of them, and making a fair 
display of clocks, time-pieces, and watches of native 
and foreign manufacture. In this main street, and in 
one of the principal cross streets, which led, by a 
turning on the left, through the viceroy's palace- 
yard, there were several curiosity shops, well supplied 
with old bronze vases, images, jade-stone ornaments, 
and carved wood, for which the owners generally 
asked exorbitant prices. As I approached the central 
parts of the city, the crowd, being here less familiar- 
ized with foreign features, was more troublesome ; and 
once or twice the sound of fan kow, "foreign dog," 
struck my ear. Once hearing this sound proceed 
from a youth close to my side, I fixed my eye on him, 
to intimate that I understood the phrase ; on which 
he shrunk back into the crowd, sometimes summoning 
up a laugh and repeating aloud the offensive expres- 
sion, which he saw I fully appreciated. I made a 
remark to my teacher concerning their liability to 
punishment by the Mandarins for this rude conduct. 
Unfortunately he mistook my meaning, a mistake 
more justly chargeable on my limited vocabulary of 
Chinese words than on his dulness of comprehension ; 
and I soon had the mortification of finding myself 
at the entrance of a police court, to which he was con- 


ducting me to lodge a complaint before the magistrate. 
As he was knocking at the door, and trying to open 
the barred entrance, I fortunately discovered the mis- 
take, so as to prevent his continuing the attempt. On 
our coming out, the crowd, which was rapidly increas- 
ing, raised a cheer, either of exultation at our appear- 
ing to be baffled, or of approbation of my not persist- 
ing in the complaint. I heard, however, no more of 
the expression, the only epithet which saluted my 
ear, during the rest of the walk, being fan yen, 
'-' foreigner." After passing under an extensive public 
building, which crossed the way, and exhibited aloft 
the unusual spectacle of a large clock with a Euro- 
pean dial, we were followed by an increasing crowd, 
chiefly of boys, to the large suite of courts and tem- 
ples forming the ching-wang-meaou. Here the voices 
becoming louder, and the people somewhat more 
boisterous, a police-runner attached himself to me 
from one of the public offices. This new comer was 
apparently very anxious to prevent my experiencing 
any annoyance, and did not allow the crowds of boys 
and idlers, who followed, to approach within twenty 
yards. At length the latter, being tired of following, 
gradually turned back and left their places to be sup- 
plied by the idlers of the next street through which 
we passed. From time to time he also offered me 
oranges and betel-nut. 

Our course now lay through a narrow defile of 
lanes, abounding with refuse and nauseous odours, 
towards the eastern quarter of the city, where I deter- 
mined on paying a visit to the Manchow Tartars. On 
my way the people evinced increasing signs of curio- 
sity ; and when I entered a shop to rest, the policeman 


had to station himself at the door to prevent any 
pressure, returning inside at intervals to offer me a 
pipe of tobacco, or to perform some similar act of 
civility. At last I entered the district of the Man- 
chows, where none but the dominant race are per- 
mitted to reside ; and to which, till recently, no Chi- 
nese were bold enough even to pay a visit. Men, 
women, and children, of every age and condition? 
turned out to see me as I passed down their streets, 
with looks which betokened mingled surprise and 
dissatisfaction. They generally appeared to be of 
more solid frame and higher stature than the inha- 
bitants of pure Chinese descent. They all appeared 
exceedingly anxious not to give any umbrage or 
ground of offence. The elder portion of them kept 
waving their hands, or using their lungs, to deter any 
of the younger people from following our steps ; and 
at one of the police-stations the officers made them 
all turn back and desist from following. As we ap- 
proached the entrance to the Tartar general's palace- 
yard, my teacher and the police-guide wanted to take 
a sudden turn down a narrow street on the right. I 
persisted, however, in leading the way through this 
extensive range of courts into the Manchow streets on 
the opposite side of the palace. A Manchow officer 
now joined our little party as an additional escort, 
and accompanied us till our arrival at the east gate, 
where we turned to the northward, and pursued our 
way over the military exercising-ground inside the 
wall. Here about fifty Manchows followed, who per- 
formed various little acts of attention, and proceeded 
to show me the curiosities of the neighbourhood. They 
first took me to a hot spring, strongly impregnated 


with sulphur, the water of which I just tasted, but 
which they prevented my drinking, saying that their 
horses were brought thither to water. They next led 
the way, in a small body, to the Tang-mun, or " Hot- 
Bath Gate," through which they conducted me into a 
little suburb, where the Manchow and Chinese inha- 
bitants are mingled together. We soon arrived at the 
public hot-baths, where, for a fee of two copper cash, 
the inhabitants possess the privilege of an ablution in 
these medicinal springs ; to which cause some persons 
ascribe the fact of cutaneous diseases being less fre- 
quently observable among the inhabitants of Foo-chow, 
than of other Chinese cities. The first object which 
I beheld, was about twenty men in a round circular 
bath, of not more than six feet in diameter, all im- 
mersed up to their chin in the steaming fluid, and 
packed as closely as faggots. A shout of laughter, 
unusual among the serious gloomy people of Foo-chow, 
proceeded from these twenty heads, trunkless as far as 
my eyes were concerned. Three or four men were 
sitting on the edge, waiting till one of the twenty came 
out of the bath, and made room for another person to 
join the bathers. One or two others were anointing 
their bodies with liniment or plaster, having appa- 
rently used the bath to cure their sores. A little 
further on there was another bath, with its twenty 
Chinese similarly packed in a shallow well. A few per- 
sons were drinking at another well under the same roof. 
At a few yards' distance there was a well, partitioned 
off to some distance, and guarded from bathers, where 
the water was carried off in buckets, and persons 
were only permitted to drink. The water was exceed- 
ingly hot, even in a cup ; but had no medicinal taste. 


In the meantime my new conductors grew very 
friendly, and by degrees became even cheerful. They 
asked me my honourable surname, and requested me 
to write it on the sand. They afterwards wished to 
know what office I filled, and the time of my arrival 
at Foo-chow. The information supplied to them by 
my teacher I was unable to understand ; but I had 
reason to infer, from some circumstances which oc- 
curred on a similar occasion, that, in spite of my 
explanations to the contrary, he made many exagge- 
rations and mis-statements respecting me, and sought 
thereby to augment his own importance. The Man- 
chows at Foo-chow have been estimated at about 3000 
in number ; but according to their own accounts on 
this occasion, they had no means of accurately ascer- 
taining their precise numbers, which, however, they 
computed as amounting, with women and children, to 
about 8000. They have the character of being a tur- 
bulent and haughty race, and sometimes occasion 
much difficulty to the Chinese officers of Government, 
from whose jurisdiction they are generally exempt, 
and are subject only to officers of their own race. 
They still retain the pride of conquest after the lapse 
of two centuries ; and as they never amalgamate with 
the Chinese, and are not very numerous throughout 
the empire, a revolution is more than probable when 
any general grievance shall arouse the spirit of the 
nation, and a leader be found able and willing to head 
a general revolt against their dynasty. The Tartar 
yoke is said to be at times very galling and humi- 
liating ; but the dominant race have wisely consented, 
from the beginning, to share the Government with the 
vanquished ; and the system of literary degrees theo- 


retically opens the door of political preferment to all 
persons without any distinction. The probable near- 
ness or remoteness of the period of Chinese emancipa- 
tion from Tartar rule is an enigma of difficult solu- 
tion, and can form only a subject of doubtful conjec- 
ture to foreigners, who possess little knowledge of the 
political condition of China beyond a few general 
impressions, founded on a very imperfect induction of 
facts. The Emperor appears to share a large portion 
of loyal attachment, as a good man and just ruler ; 
and only a few of the Chinese, who are connected 
with foreigners, ever dare to breathe the treasonable 
language of dislike towards the existing Government. 
Popular opinion is, however, powerful in China ; and 
though there are no regular channels of manifesting 
its power in the absence of a representative Govern- 
ment, it cannot safely be outraged. A grand national 
disaster alone appears likely seriously to endanger the 
stability of the present dynasty ; and if the treaty of 
Nanking had not arrested the career of invading con- 
quest, the capture of Peking might ere now have 
driven back the reigning family to their native do- 
minions in Manchowria, and China Proper might be 
just emerging from the widely-spread disasters of a 
general anarchy. The viceroy and Tartar general 
in Foo-chow hold equal rank, but are seldom on 
terms of cordiality, the boundaries of their equal and 
divided authority frequently operating as a cause of 

Returning into the heart of the city by a different 
route, I at length reached the vicinity of the viceroy's 
palace. I called a sedan-chair from a public stand in 
a neighbouring street, and after another half hour 


found myself at the foot of the Woo-shih shan. Here 
the Chinese servants attached to the Consulate, with 
their office as f< retainers of the great English nation " 
embroidered in large characters on the bosom of their 
dress, as they strutted about in the apparent con- 
sciousness of British protection, were living proofs of 
the mighty inroads which have, during the present 
generation, been made on the exclusive policy of the 
Chinese Government. 

On various other occasions I visited the central and 
western parts of the city, occasionally sitting down in 
the shop of a tradesman. The individual natives, 
with whom I formed an acquaintance during my stay, 
as well as the people generally, whose feelings I had 
an opportunity of testing, showed the same friendly 
disposition, which is prevalent among the Chinese in 
other parts accessible to foreigners. The most un- 
friendly part of their conduct was their unreasonable- 
ness in demanding large sums of money for the most 
trifling articles, which I wished to purchase. One 
man came down to my price with great humour, as 
I remonstrated with him on his making such a dif- 
ference between his Chinese and foreign customers, 
and repeated the proverb, " All the people comprised 
within the four seas are as brethren." 

During my daily strolls on the Woo-shih shan, I had 
continual opportunities of an insight into the various 
characters and pursuits of the people, who sauntered 
to these parts as the Hyde Park of Foo-chow. On 
one occasion I enjoyed the hospitality of the abbot of a 
Taouist temple called the Taou-shan-kwan, a venerable 
old man, seventy-five years of age, with long, flowing, 
white beard, who, with his brother priests, was very 


friendly and polite. One of them afterwards re-joined 
me alone ; and after reading for a few moments a 
Christian book, as if to show the universal scepticism 
of his mind, or his opinion of the unimportant cha- 
racter of such subjects, he gave utterance to the 
latitudinarian remark, that all religions were in prin- 
ciple the same. Some Bonzes also followed me in 
order to procure books, which they received with 
their usual protestations of gratitude. Daily instances 
occurred of the real indifference of both sects alike to 
their respective superstitions, and of the total absence 
of any alarm at the possible diminution of their influ- 
ence by the dissemination of Christian tenets in these 

In the same locality, and within a few minutes of 
time, a Chinese Roman Catholic, who inherited from 
his ancestors a profession of Christianity, after re- 
ceiving a tract, drew forth a medal suspended from 
his bosom, and inscribed with the images of Joseph, 
the Virgin, and John the Baptist. The sight of these 
(he said) recalled to his mind the good things which he 
read in his holy books. From other sources I gained 
the information, that there had been a recent perse- 
cution of the Roman Catholics in the neighbourhood, 
originating in their refusal to subscribe money to 
the building or repair of some heathen temple. A 
Spanish padre, named Justo D'Aguilar, had been 
residing for a year at Foo-chow, under the terms of 
the recent edict of universal religious toleration. He 
wore a Chinese costume, but was said to be a person 
of but little activity of body, or energy of mind, and 
to be greatly discouraged at the prospects of Roman- 
Catholicism in the city. The people were, in his 


opinion, so apathetic, that he despaired of making any 
converts from among them. In the northern part of 
the province of Fokeen, at the distance of a hundred 
miles from Foo-chow, there is a Popish bishop, a 
Spaniard ninety years of age, who has been fifty years 
in the country. There is also a Popish College ; and 
the Romish converts are said to be more numerous 
than the pagan inhabitants in some of those districts, 
so that they are too powerful to become the victims 
of persecution. In the course of an interview, the 
British Consul took occasion to remonstrate with the 
acting governor of the province against the invi- 
dious distinctions and exclusive spirit, which were 
supposed to pervade the second edict of Ke-ying, 
apparently limiting the first edict of toleration to the 
professors of the Roman-Catholic religion. In his 
reply, the governor deprecated the idea of such dif- 
ferences being known at Peking ; and stated that the 
Emperor, in the full spirit of extending equal privi- 
leges to the French and English nations, would grant 
free and perfect toleration to the religion generally 
of Western nations. He also intimated, that although 
at Peking the Imperial Government knew no diffe- 
rence between Roman Catholics and Protestants, he 
himself appreciated the distinction, and preferred the 
Protestants as less disposed to political intrigues. The 
native authorities appeared to be well acquainted with 
the movements of the Spanish padre, but had thus far 
acted with liberality, promptly checking the mal- 
treatment of the Chinese converts, when the real facts 
of the case had been duly explained to them. 

Mahomedanism, also, is not without its represen- 
tatives in the city, six priests being resident at Foo- 


chow, who soon gain intelligence of the arrival of any 
Mussulmans in the crews of foreign vessels, and visit 
all such new-comers in order to sell their sacred 
writings. There are also between twenty and thirty 
Mahomedan fakirs, or religious beggars, who subsist 
on the superstitions or the fears of the people. 
Popular report states them to be the special favour- 
ites of a Mongol Tartar, a member of the highest 
board of the State, who, from Peking, would denounce 
punishment on any person slighting the beggars. 
Whether this rumour be true or false, there is no 
doubt of its being serviceable to this class of the 
wretched objects, who are so numerous in Chinese 

Dec. 29th This being the period of the new moon, 
the twelfth of the current Chinese year, the usual 
scenes of the season gave an appearance of additional 
excitement to the streets. Parties of mendicant 
Bonzes were to be seen marching in slow movement, 
and chanting some religious song, while one or two of 
their number visited the neighbouring shops, to make 
a collection. They had sometimes to wait for five 
minutes before the tradesman, busily occupied with 
his customers, deigned to take any notice of the 
priests, who were generally dismissed with a few 
copper cash. Close by, two men of more than ordi- 
nary irascibility of temperament, were fiercely dealing 
blows at each other's person, but were held back by 
the surrounding crowd, so that little harm was done 
by the excited pugilists. After being with difficulty 
separated, they again rushed towards each other, and 
levelled their aim with redoubled fury ; but being 
again pulled back, they had only the satisfaction of 

A A 


beating the air. It was pleasing to observe the 
general anxiety of the people to prevent any further 
collision between the contending parties, as contrasted 
with the disgraceful scenes sometimes seen in more 
civilized countries on such occasions. The shop- 
keepers rushed out of their houses, and for the time 
it appeared to be every man's business to separate the 
combatants, and lead them in different directions. 
The system of dividing the city into wards, and 
making the respective householders of each respon- 
sible to Government for a breach of the peace in 
their district, is here productive of the best effects, 
not only in the prevention of disturbances generally, 
but also in securing good treatment to any stranger 
who visits the city from European vessels. 

The frequent bridal processions and sounds of 
music indicated, also, a more than ordinary number 
of weddings at this auspicious season. Now and then, 
also, a newly-promoted sew-tsai might be seen making 
a formal visit to his friends, in a chair, with a retinue 
of attendants and pipers, and rejoicing in the con- 
sciousness of his newly-acquired dignity. Soon after 
sunset the inhabitants of whole streets might be 
observed bringing forth from their houses little heaps 
of paper, inscribed with Chinese writing, which they 
reverently burnt before the door, to prevent any pos- 
sible desecration of their written character. The 
smoking embers might be traced in succession for 
some distance, as a mark of the universality of the 
custom. The poor delinquents, who bore the wooden 
collar as a punishment for their offences, and who 
outnumbered all that I had seen in every other part 
of China, seemed also at this time to enjoy some little 


alleviation of their sufferings, in the kind attentions of 
their friends. Some aged man might be observed, 
whose appearance pointed him out as the parent of 
the criminal, feeding, with paternal kindness, the full- 
grown offender, who enjoyed, either by connivance or 
permission of the police, his share in the convivial 
festivities of the season. 

The offences for which they suffered this slow and 
attenuating torture were, generally, theft ; and the 
mode of their punishment often gave rise to strange 
scenes. Occasionally, a son of tender years might 
be seen performing the office of filial piety, in re- 
moving the accumulated dirt from the person of his 
father. The criminals themselves seemed to have 
exerted their powers of invention in discovering 
modes of compensating the inconvenience of the pro- 
jecting plank, separating between their upper and 
lower extremities, by toothpicks and ear-picks, two 
feet in length, which, with extended and carefully- 
poised arm, they endeavoured to insert over the 
wooden encumbrance into the appropriate place of 
reception. Soon after sunset, a policeman arrives to 
unlock the chain which fastens the cangue to the wall, 
and the culprit is marched for the night to the com- 
mon prison, whence, on the following day, he is again 
conducted forth for exposure to public gaze. 

It was difficult to conceive any thing more wretched 
than the squalid class of beggars, who might be seen 
in all the degrees of want and misery, from a state of 
tattered garb and partial nakedness to that of extreme 
destitution, shrivelled limbs, and pale-stricken coun- 
tenance, loitering in the streets for the casual alms of 
the benevolent, or lying by the way-side in the help- 

A A2 


lessness of pining sickness. One poor sufferer was 
pushing himself along in a kind of box, with his lower 
extremities eaten away by disease. He had placed 
one of his feet, withered and dried, on a peg in front, 
in order to obtain, by this hideous spectacle, the 
earnestly-sought relief of the busy way-farers. A 
Manchow military officer, passing by in his chair, and 
attended by his lictors in all the stateliness and pride 
of wealth, was a strong contrast with the widely-pre- 
valent destitution of the beggar-population. 

During the latter part of my stay at Foo-chow, I 
remained generally on the little island between the 
two bridges in the suburb of Nantai. The principal 
part of this suburb is situated on the southern bank 
of the river, and contains a population of 20,000. 
The greater portion of these consist of boatmen, sailors, 
and natives of Ningpo and of other distant places, who 
come to the city in trading junks. This part abounds 
with fish, fruit, and vegetables, which are everywhere 
exposed for sale. The two latter articles are brought 
hither by a fine healthy race of countrywomen, whose 
hardy frames and active steps present a strong con- 
trast with the limping gait and stunted growth of 
the female population of the city. The practice of 
cramping the feet by bandages from early infancy, 
though not universal, as in the more northern cities, 
is very general ; few women being exempted from this 
customary infliction of cruelty, except the Tartar 
ladies, the boatwomen on the river, and the lower 
classes of female inhabitants generally, who may be 
seen bearing burdens, and working with the activity 
of men. Many of these women perform the work of 
coolies, and hurry along the streets with bare feet, or 


with light shoes made of straw. They wear a hair- 
pin of large size, and frequently made of silver, and are 
the finest and most robust race of women to be seen 
in China, compensating, in some degree, for the poor 
appearance of the other sex. 

Some of the inhabitants of Nantai have an ingenious 
way of earning their livelihood, by training cormo- 
rants to dive into the river and bring up fish from the 
bottom. Generally, about the time of low water, a 
boatman might be seen near the arches of the bridge, 
with four or five cormorants perched on a boat. At 
a given signal from the owner, one of these birds 
bounded from the boat into the stream, and, after 
looking about for a few moments, dived, to the bottom, 
becoming invisible sometimes for two minutes, when 
it generally rose, at forty or fifty yards' distance, to 
breathe the air. After another minute the bird again 
descended into the stream, and repeated the process 
till it brought a fish to the surface, struggling in its 
beak. This was a signal to the boatman to paddle 
his little vessel to the spot, where he cast a net into 
the river, and hauled both bird and fish into the boat. 
The bird, conscious of its desert, flapped its wings, 
and, by various odd motions, sought the usual reward 
of a piece of fish, or other food, for its success. Some- 
times two cormorants were fishing at the same time, 
and were often for many minutes apparently lost. 
The fisherman, however, easily followed them, his 
little boat consisting merely of half-a-dozen bamboo 
poles, which formed a light raft, sufficient for himself 
and the birds, and was' easily paddled with a single 
oar. During the time in which I watched their ope- 
rations they caught three or four fish, one of which 


was more than the captor could manage, and weighed 
down its bill below the stream as it floated towards 
the raft. It is said that a ring, placed round the 
lower portion of the throat of these fishing cormorants, 
disables them from swallowing their prey before the 
boatman arrives to the rescue. 

On Dec. 31, 1845, I made a visit to the country 
bordering on Nantai to the south, by a hill which rose 
abruptly to the height of 300 feet, and afforded a good 
view of the city at three miles' distance. After pass- 
ing over some broken ground, covered at intervals 
with clumps of trees, I found myself amongst thou- 
sands of tombs of every size, from the small mound 
which covered the remains of the beggar, to the spa- 
cious well-paved monument of the wealthy. Some of 
the smaller ones were covered with a hard kind of 
cement, or plaster, and resembled a mere mound of 
earth, as in western countries. The larger kind of 
mausolem, from its trefoil shape, resembled the last 
letter in the Greek alphabet, the omega and the end 
of all things. A long sandy hill of undulating surface, 
dotted with a few plantations of cypresses and pines, 
formed the general burial-ground of the city, beyond 
which a plain of considerable extent stretched over a 
cultivated line of country to the distant hills. 

In one of the temples on the hill of Nantai I 
witnessed a curious specimen of the power of priest- 
craft, which still retains its hold on a portion of the 
people. In a little temple, consisting of two or three 
courts, dedicated to one of the Taouist deities, and 
entrusted to a few priests, I met a Chinese, who had 
come to obtain deliverance from domestic grief. The 
cause of his affliction was the sickness and expected 


death of his wife. The husband, dressed out in his 
finest clothes, and loaded with offerings, stood before a 
platform, in anxious expectation, while a priest went 
through a variety of evolutions, tossings, and tum- 
blings on the floor, to procure a good omen. With 
his head bound in a red handkerchief, or turban, and a 
quantity of burning paper in his hand, the priest vigo- 
rously danced, with impassioned gestures, around a 
table laden with cakes and fruits, while two attend- 
ants, beating a gong and a drum, kept time with his 
performance. At one time he prayed in softly-uttered 
tones; soon again he employed scolding accents to the 
deity whom he invoked. At one moment he would 
endeavour to coax away the angry spirit ; at another, 
he would terrify it away by whipping the air. After 
half an hour's frantic noise, and persevering somer- 
sets on the ground, he rose, and placed a hair-pin 
on the head of the anxious husband, after binding the 
hair into the peculiar tuft of the Taou sect. Some more 
paper was burnt outside the temple ; the priest ceased 
from his flagellations; the husband bowed down 
several times before an idol which stood near ; and 
after paying the usual fees to the priest, returned, 
apparently satisfied, to the scene of his domestic 




i.HE city of Foo-chow, called, in the local dialect, 
Hok-choo, is situated in 26 T north latitude, and in 
119 15' east longitude. The amount of its population, 
in the absence of all authentic statistics, can only be a 
subject of uncertain conjecture. The extent of space 
within the city, actually covered with buildings, 
would lead a visitor to estimate its size to be twice 
that of Ningpo, three times that of Shanghai, and 
nearly five times that of Amoy. The lowest estimate, 
which I have heard, makes it to contain a population 
of more than half a million of souls. I am myself 
inclined to raise the number as high as 600,000 a 
number which will not be considered excessive, when 
it is remembered that the walls of the city are eight 
miles and a half in circuit, and that nearly the whole 
of the space inclosed by them is occupied by build- 
ings. Although it is the capital of Fokeen province, 
it is nevertheless, on the testimony of all the high 


officers of the local Government, a city of little trade 
with the interior, and of decreasing commercial im- 
portance. Nor is its commerce with the maritime 
parts of China of any considerable extent, its maritime 
trade being checked by the hordes of pirates who, 
more or less, for centuries have been the scourge of an 
unwarlike people, and the terror of a weak Govern- 
ment. The increasing diminution of its inland trade, 
according to the statements of some of the most 
respectable native traders, is mainly attributable to 
the restraints which are imposed on legitimate com- 
merce and native industry by the annual drain of 
Sycee bullion from the country, in payment for opium 
smuggled along the coast. Two millions of dollars' 
worth of the drug are said to be annually imported 
into the city. The principal opium station was for- 
merly at Chin chew, 140 miles to the south of Foo- 
chow ; but another depot has also been recently esta- 
blished for the smuggling vessels, at the mouth of the 
river Min, just beyond the consular limits of the port. 
At the present time a considerable portion of the 
opium finds its way from Foo-chow to other places in 
the interior. From four to eight chests are also daily 
retailed in the city. One half of the population are 
supposed to be addicted to the indulgence ; and even 
the lowest coolies and beggars often deny themselves a 
portion of the substantial necessaries of life, in order to 
enjoy the- prized luxury. Upwards of one hundred 
smoking houses, with the exterior of private houses, 
but having their interior fitted up with all the conve- 
niences and apparatus for smoking, are spread over the 
city. The fact of their being frequently situated near 
the residences of the Mandarins, and being generally 


resorted to by the police and military, can leave no 
doubt of the perfect notoriety of their existence among 
the local officers of Government. A fear of the per- 
sonal consequences of a collision with foreigners a 
lurking suspicion of the connexion of the British 
Government with the opium system a sense of inabi- 
lity to put down by force the well-armed foreign 
vessels stationed at the smuggling depots and the 
harvest of bribes and secret duties which they are able 
to reap from connivance are the several motives 
which probably restrain the Mandarins from assuming 
a position of decided hostility, and from enforcing the 
prohibition of this contraband traffic by the severe 
penalties of the law. These separate causes operate 
conjointly in fostering and upholding an evil which, 
by the general stagnation of native trade, and the 
constant drain of the precious metals from the coun- 
try, is fast producing a crisis, involving alike the 
commercial ruin of the cities along the sea-board, 
and the financial impoverishment of the empire ; and 
which may be a more powerful argument to those who 
have it in their power to arrest the evil, the closing 
up, from sheer decay, of one of the most important 
outlets for the manufactures of the West. 

Notwithstanding these restrictions on its commer- 
cial prosperity, Foo-chow possesses a large amount of 
trade with other places in the various minor neces- 
saries of life. From the neighbouring province of 
Keangse there is an import of chinaware. From the 
more distant province of Shanse skins and furs are 
supplied. Junks from Shantung, Teensing, and other 
places along the coast, bring vegetables and drugs. 
From Ningpo cotton-cloth is imported. The tribute- 


bearing junks from the Loo-choo Islands import also 
dried fish, birds'-nests, wine, beche-le-mer, and Japan- 
ese ingots of gold to the annual value of 10,000 dollars. 
The country in the north-western parts of the province 
supplies the staple commodity of tea, tea-oil, rice, 
bamboo-roots, fragrant wood, and ox-hides. From 
the southern parts of the province, more especially 
from the vicinity of Amoy and Chinchew, there is an 
overland transit of rattans, pepper, long-cloths, wool- 
lens, beche-le-mer, sharks'-fins, birds'-nests, sandal and 
other scented woods, ginseng, sugar, and quicksilver, 
imported from other countries into these southern 
ports by their more adventurous inhabitants, and fur- 
nishing them with a lucrative overland trade to the 
capital of the province. In return for these native 
imports, there is an export trade from Foo-chow of 
bamboos, tea, spars, oranges, paper, and tin-foil for 
idolatrous offerings. The number of large junks at 
Foo-chow is inconsiderable, scarcely amounting to a 
hundred, and these mostly from Ningpo. The lesser 
junks come down the river, which is navigable for 
nearly 200 miles to the north-western extremity of the 
province. They are provided with an immense long 
oar at the stern, and sometimes also at the bow, in- 
stead of a rudder, to counteract the power of the 
stream, which abounds with rapids, and is, on this 
account, of rather difficult navigation. 

The monetary system prevalent at Foo-chow indi- 
cates an advanced state of commerce and civilization. 
There are regular issues of promissory bills or notes, 
varying in amount from 400 copper cash (equivalent 
to about sixteen pence) to 1000 dollars, which supply 
all the advantages, with as little as possible of the 


dangers, of a bank-note circulation. The blue, red, 
and black colours, which are blended together on 
these promissory bills, present a rather gay appear- 
ance of signatures and indorsings. The name of the 
issuing mercantile firm, and a number of characters 
traced around the page, form the original impression 
from an ink of a bright blue colour. The year, 
month, and day of issue, and some ingeniously wrought 
ciphers for the reception of signatures and prevention 
of forgeries, are of a deep red. The entry of the sum, 
together with the names of the issuing partner and 
the receivers, stands forth in large black characters. 
On the opposite side of the bill are the indorsements 
of various individuals through whose hands the bill 
has passed, in order to facilitate the detection of 
forgeries, but not to render the indorsers further 
liable. The credit of the firms is generally good, 
and bankruptcies seldom occur. A small fee is 
charged at the issue, and also at the discounting of 
the bills, by the firm. The people value them as 
much as silver ; and when I paid chair-bearers their 
hire, they generally preferred a bill of this kind 
to the payment of copper coin, on account of its 

There exists scarcely any foreign trade at Foo- 
chow. There is only one European merchant resident 
in the place ; and only seven foreign vessels have as 
yet entered the port, of which three were American. 
Nor are there any present signs of an immediate in- 
crease in the foreign trade. As Foo-chow itself is 
destitute of those manufactures and natural produc- 
tions, which are required for export to Europe, tea, 
brought from the upper parts of the province, is the 


only article of trade ever likely to become an impor- 
tant item of foreign commerce. The province of 
Fokeen is the great black-tea district of the empire, 
and the famous hills of Bohea are situated only 150 
miles to the north-west of Foo-chow. It does not, 
therefore, seem to be very improbable that, on the 
arrival of British capital at the port, the tea-merchants 
may bring their teas for sale to Foo-chow, rather than 
incur the expense of the present difficult and tedious 
overland route of more than 600 miles to Canton. A 
cargo of tea may be brought in boats in four days 
down the stream to Foo-chow ; while the expensive 
route over the mountainous country to Canton occu- 
pies almost as many weeks. Some of the tea-growers 
are also said to be desirous of bringing their teas to 
Foo-chow, and exchanging them in barter for Euro- 
pean goods. The principal obstacles appear to be 
the general unwillingness of the Chinese to abandon 
their old methods of trade, and the reluctance of the 
foreign merchants to increase the number and expense 
of their agencies, by commencing establishments at 
any other ports than the two principal marts of Can- 
ton and Shanghai. 

The people have the character of being destitute of 
the activity and enterprise, which generally distin- 
guishes the Fokeen race above the population of other 
provinces of China. Inhabiting a provincial capital, 
which is excluded, by its isolated situation and the 
difficult navigation of its river, from extensive inter- 
course with maritime parts; and possessing among 
themselves, through the favouring bounty of Provi- 
dence, most of the resources necessary for human 
subsistence ; the people have ever been indisposed to 


emigrate, and have obtained little knowledge of foreign 
nations. They are generally serious, grave, and almost 
sullen in their deportment towards Europeans. This is 
probably only a temporary effect of the stringent regu- 
lations issued by the native authorities, by which the 
people are prohibited from indulging their curiosity, 
or using offensive expressions, when they meet a 
foreigner. The few natives, who are brought into 
connexion with foreigners, evince as much respect as 
is to be commonly seen in other cities of China. If, 
from want of a better acquaintance, the people gene- 
rally are at present less cordial in their demeanour, 
they are also, at the same time, less prone to indulge 
in familiarity and forwardness of manner than the 
Chinese in other parts where foreigners are better 
known. There is evidently a growing improvement 
in this respect ; and the popular mind, if not alien- 
ated by that reckless conduct which too frequently 
marks the advancing tide of our extended commerce, 
will doubtless, ere long, be imbued with feelings of 
positive friendliness and favour towards foreigners. 

The numerous sedan-chairs, with two and some- 
times four bearers, which impede the way at every 
hundred yards, are a fair proof of the existence of 
considerable wealth in the city. By far the greater 
part, however, of the population are immersed in the 
deepest poverty, earning, in compliance with the 
sternest conditions of human nature, a scanty sub- 
sistence by the sweat of their brow. The neighbour- 
ing villages, which are scattered over the plain to the 
encircling hills, contain an agricultural population. 
The inhabitants of the villages on either bank of the 
river towards the sea have the character of being 


addicted to frequent acts of piracy and lawlessness. 
The people who live in the city are generally em- 
ployed in trade, or in the lower work of coolies and 
labourers. Some of the artisans are in advance of 
their countrymen in most other parts, being indebted 
to foreign skill for the acquisition of those arts, from 
which they derive their livelihood. There are several 
watchmakers' shops, with watches and clocks of va- 
rious degrees of excellence. The proprietors of these 
shops freely acknowledged that the watches of most 
delicate construction were imported into Canton from 
foreign countries, and that the more common speci- 
mens, made by themselves, were imitations of foreign 
ingenuity. On the sale of a time-piece, a slip of 
paper is given to the purchaser, containing, in Chi- 
nese, a printed explanation of the European figures 
on the dial. I have seen one of these watchmakers 
take to pieces a lever-watch with the greatest des- 
patch, and pronounce promptly on the cause of 
stoppage. They bear a willing testimony to the su- 
perior skill of foreigners in products of this kind. 
The frequent exhibition of foreign scenes in their 
picture-shops suggests the belief that they know some- 
thing of the warlike disposition of the English. A 
total exemption of the people from the disasters of 
the late war, and the not improbable efforts of the 
viceroy to conceal from them the humiliating capture 
by the British of two important cities within his juris- 
diction, may reasonably be supposed to have rendered 
the inhabitants of Foo-chow more ignorant of the real 
power and superiority of foreigners than the inhabi- 
tants of the other consular cities of China. The Man- 
darins themselves, however, know the real position of 


affairs ; and in the strong contrast, which their pro- 
clamations respecting civility to foreigners form, with 
the irresolute tone adopted by the native authorities 
at Canton, we hail a favourable omen of their sin- 
cerity, and the continuance of friendly relations with 

The degree of literary reputation which Foo-chow 
enjoys is a question which a casual visitor necessarily 
finds difficulty in investigating. The following facts, 
supplied to me by an intelligent Chinese, with whom 
I became acquainted during my stay, will show that 
it is entitled to no mean reputation in this respect. 
Of the literary degree of sew-tsai, which is conferred 
twice in every three years, there are about 8000 gra- 
duates in the whole province of Fokeen, of whom 2000 
belong to the city of Foo-chow. Of the degree of 
keu-jin, which is conferred once in the same period of 
time, there are about 1000 graduates throughout the 
province, of whom 360 reside at the capital. Again, 
of the degree of tsin-sze to which only about 360 
graduates are promoted at each triennial examina- 
tion at Peking from the eighteen provinces of the 
empire, and beyond which step of literary distinction 
promotion is so rare that only thirty persons are 
raised to the highest degree of Han-lin, at each trien- 
nial examination, from the whole of China there are 
estimated to be 200 graduates in the province of 
Fokeen, sixty of whom are inhabitants of the city. 
In Foo-chow there are also 5000 literary students 
who have not yet obtained a degree, and who earn 
their livelihood by tuition and similar pursuits, a few 
being employed in the subordinate situations of the 
public offices of Government. The sew-tsai seldom 


obtain promotion to political offices, unless they are 
supported by the influence of private wealth. Even 
the keu-jin, if they are poor men, have generally 
to wait for ten or twelve years before they receive 
preferment. The tsin-sze invariably gain immediate 
promotion to an official station, as the sure reward of 
their rare distinction. The successful few who rise 
to the highest distinction of admission into the Han- 
lin, or National College, form a body of councillors, 
who are consulted by the Emperor on grave matters 
of state policy, and from whom the highest ministers 
of state are selected. 

There is a great scarcity of large and handsome 
temples in the city. There is, however, one of some 
attractions to visitors, situated about half-way between 
the south and the west gates, bordering on the outer- 
side of the city wall, and nearly opposite to the Con- 
sulate Hill. There is also a noted Budhist monastery, 
called the Yung-tsemn-she, situated about half-way up 
the Koo-shan range, about eight miles in a south- 
eastern direction from Foo-chow. There are about 
one hundred priests supported by the endowment, of 
whom about sixty are generally resident. 

The disposition of the present local authorities is 
said to be, on the whole, liberal, and increasingly 
favourable to foreigners. The present tsung-tuh, or 
viceroy of the united provinces of Fokeen and 
Chekeang, is named Sew yun-ko, who, although he 
had the reputation of being, during the war, very 
fierce in his hostility to the British, and the un- 
flinching advocate of the harshest measures towards 
the barbarians, has now mitigated his hatred, and 
cultivates a friendly intercourse with the British 

B B 


Consul. The tseang-kemn, or Tartar general, named 
King-mull, is a man of less popular manners, having 
shown a considerable degree of bigotry and pride in 
his intercourse with individual foreigners. Thefan- 
tai, or treasurer, who at present is also the acting 
governor of the province, is Sew Tee-yew, formerly 
chief judge of Canton, a man of liberal views, and 
remarkably well versed in the geography and 
politics of the West. The hai-quan, or superin- 
tendant of customs, is Ho lung-woo, a colonel in the 
Tartar army, a frank and well-disposed man, but 
possessing moderate ability, who lately held a similar 
office at Amoy. Of the subordinate officers of Govern- 
ment, the most prominent is the Min-heen, one of the 
district magistrates, who held office formerly at Can- 
ton, and has brought thence a taint of the old anti- 
European feeling, which sometimes manifests itself in 
the haughty flippancy of his demeanour, even when 
mingling in the freedom of social intercourse with 
foreigners. All these local authorities occupy official 
residences in the city, which are approached by a 
series of open spaces, court within court. Their 
houses are supplied with furniture of a poor kind, 
and are sheltered only by windows of paper from the 
inclemency of the seasons. Their families generally 
reside at a distance in their native districts, to avoid 
the inconvenience and expense of the continual 
removals consequent on translation or promotion to 
other official appointments. In the festive mirth and 
freedom of manner which distinguish their private 
social intercourse, they evince great mutual confi- 
dence, and appear to be on the best of terms with 
each other. The city gates are shut soon after sunset ; 


and so rigid are the regulations of a garrison city, 
that not even the Tartar general can be admitted into 
the city after they are once closed. Of all these 
officers of the local Government, the governor of the 
province far exceeds the rest in the variety and 
extent of his information, and in the liberality of his 
views. In the reference that has already been made 
to him in the case of the equal toleration of foreign 
religions, it has been seen that he is far in advance of 
the generality of his countrymen. In his intercourse 
with the British Consul he has alluded, in con- 
versation, to the more prominent events of modern 
European history, and shown his general acquaint- 
ance with European politics ; as, for instance, 
the difficulty of governing Ireland on account of 
Popery, the revolt of Belgium from Holland, the 
separation from Britain and Spain of their colonies 
in North and South America, the ambitious career 
of Napoleon, and the closing victory of Waterloo. 
He had even heard of the excitement in Eng- 
land consequent on the discussion of the Maynooth 
Grant. Sometimes, for hours together, he converses 
on geography, and has pasted the Chinese characters 
over an expensive American atlas, presented to him 
by one of his subordinate officers from Canton ; in 
addition to which, he will soon also possess a globe, 
promised him by the Consul. The Consul's lady, at 
his request, drew for him a map of the world, coloured 
respectively according to the divisions into British, 
French, and Russian dominions, &c. Shortly after the 
receipt of it, he sent a note, inquiring the reason why 
Afghanistan had been omitted, and whether it had 
become amalgamated with Persia, or was no longer 

B B 2 


an independent kingdom. The Mandarins generally 
appear, in conversation, to recognise the superior skill 
of foreigners. One of them, the admiral, declined to 
receive a visit of ceremony, on board his junk, from 
some British officers, assigning as his reason the 
great inferiority of his own vessel to a British ship-of- 
war. On the whole, when we remember the impedi- 
ments encountered at the first opening of the port, and 
the slighting neglect formerly shown by the Chinese ; 
the state of mutual friendliness between the native 
authorities and the British Consul, which has been 
brought about by the combined influence of courtesy 
and firmness, is not only a satisfactory indication of 
the growing liberality of the Mandarins themselves, 
but also some guarantee, here at least, of that which 
must be desired by every Christian philanthropist 
the permanency of our pacific relations with China. 

The boundary regulations, as settled by mutual 
consent of the Chinese authorities and the British 
Consul, extend over the valley of Foo-chow to the 
surrounding hills. Europeans frequently make ex- 
cursions for many miles through the neighbourhood, 
and no vexatious restrictions have been as yet at- 
tempted. Firmness on the part of a Consul is gene- 
rally a sufficient preventive of any illiberal restraints 
on the part of the Mandarins. 

As regards the residence of individual foreigners, 
there is no reason to believe that any great difficulty 
will be experienced in renting commodious houses. 
The partial difficulty which exists at present arises 
more from a spirit of extortion, and a general dis- 
trust of foreigners, than from fear of the authorities, 
or deep-rooted aversion in the minds of the people. 


Large and expensive houses may be obtained without 
difficulty even at the present time. A Missionary, 
either unmarried, or unaccompanied by his family in 
the first instance, might easily induce the priests to 
afford him a lodging in some of the temples within 
the city, on the Woo-shih shan, or on the no less 
salubrious site of the Kew-sin shan. In either of 
these localities he would enjoy favourable opportuni- 
ties of gaining the language by mingling with the 
people, till his increasing acquaintance with the local 
dialect, and the increasing confidence of the inhabi- 
tants, should prepare the way also for the residence 
of Missionary families. Without this previous ac- 
quisition of the dialect, and preparation of the po- 
pular mind, the residence of a married Missionary 
with his family would probably occasion, for a time, 
some practical inconveniences to the Missionary 

This leads me to the last and most important point 
of view in which Foo-chow is to be regarded ; viz. 
the nature and degree of its eligibility as a Missionary 
Station. In enumerating, on the one hand, some of 
the disadvantages of a Missionary Station at Foo- 
chow, the obstacle of its present inaccessibility will 
readily present itself to most minds. To this must 
be added the fact, that the people have never yet 
been impressed by any visible display of the national 
superiority and civilization of foreigners. There is 
also a spirit of suspicious distrust, naturally prevalent 
among the inhabitants towards a race of strangers, 
hitherto unknown. And, lastly, the local dialect, 
partaking of all the difficulties of the Fokeen dialects 
in other parts, is considered to be doubly barbarous 


and difficult of acquirement. All these difficulties, 
however, are either temporary, or surmountable by 
those general habits of energy and perseverance, in- 
dispensably necessary for usefulness in every portion 
of the Missionary field in China. 

On the other hand, however, we may contrast with 
these disadvantages many considerations which point 
out the desirableness of some Protestant Missionary 
Society speedily occupying Foo-chow with a Missio- 
nary establishment. Containing within the walls no 
less a number than 600,000 inhabitants, and, as the 
capital of a province, opening many channels of 
intercourse with surrounding places, it occupies a 
prominence in point of size, population, and local 
importance, inferior only to Canton among the newly- 
opened ports of China. It is free from the dete- 
riorating influence of an extensive foreign commerce, 
and the irritating effects of the late war, never having 
experienced the disasters of foreign invasion. The 
liberal disposition of the authorities, and the religious 
indifference of the people, alike encourage the hope 
that no jealousy of proselytism will throw inter- 
ruptions in the way of Protestant Missionaries. 
And, lastly, its strongest claims rest on the fact, 
that while nearly every system of superstition has 
here its living representatives, Protestant Chris- 
tianity is alone unrepresented in this vast city : and 
while every point along the coast accessible to 
foreigners has been occupied by Missionary labourers, 
the populous capital of Fokeen is as yet destitute of 
a single evangelist of the unadulterated faith of the 

Here, then, a sphere of usefulness lies open, where 


no institution of caste operates to divide man from 
man ; where no priesthood wields a general influence 
over the fears or respect of the people ; where no 
strength of religious bigotry threatens to oppose our 
progress ; but where the principal obstacles, with 
which we shall have to contend, are those national 
traits of spiritual apathy and sensuality, which every- 
where, alas ! are deeply rooted in the fallen nature 
of man, and form the chief barrier to his reception of 
pure and vital Christianity. 

The view of this great heathen city, with its popu- 
lation absorbed in earthly pursuits, devoid of every 
care about a future life, and destitute of the means of 
Christian instruction, was a spectacle which could not 
but excite a train of melancholy reflections in the au- 
thor's mind. He cherishes, however, the hope that his 
visit may be instrumental in exciting other labourers 
to enter on this Missionary field. When the primary 
Stations of Shanghai and Ningpo shall have been 
occupied by an adequate Missionary force, Foo-chow 
will probably be the Station next entered upon by 
the Church Missionary Society. 





ON Jan. 7th, 1846, I engaged a crew of Chinese to 
convey me from Foo-chow in their boat to a vessel 
a few miles down the river, in which I was to 
embark for Amoy. The weather still continued 
to be very cold, the thermometer standing at 
about 45 degrees. Having the tide in our favour, 
we arrived in two hours off Pagoda island. Here, 
as we doubled the point, a strong head- wind meeting 
the tide rendered our course rather dangerous, 
and our boat was nearly swamped. The Chinese, 
though the worst sailors, are the best boatmen in 
the world. The experience, on former occasions, 
of their extraordinary cleverness in managing a 
boat, imparted to my mind a feeling of confidence, 
which I could seldom, on a similar emergency, 
have placed in the skill of foreigners. A man at the 
head of the boat watched every wave as it approached, 


and raised a shout, so as to give the stroke altogether 
at the proper moment for avoiding the threatening 
mass of water. About noon I embarked on board 
the " Wolverine " brig-of-war, in which, through the 
kindness of the captain in command, I obtained a pas- 
sage to Amoy. We did not weigh anchor till the 
following morning, when we sailed slowly down the 
river with the ebb-tide, another brig-of-war, and also 
a war-steamer, with the British admiral on board, 
keeping us company a few miles astern. Near the 
entrance of the narrow channel called the Kin-pai- 
mun, where the Min expands into the broad harbour, 
formed by the mouth of the river and two or three 
adjoining islets, a sudden jerk and rolling of the vessel 
warned us of our having run aground, and the anchor 
was immediately let go. It was soon discovered that 
the vessel was suspended mid-ships on a rock, of 
which the charts gave no mention, in the middle of 
the channel. With eight or nine fathoms of water at 
our bow and stern we remained here for two hours, 
the admiral in the meantime passing in the steamer 
between us and the southern shore. Just as the 
admiral had made a signal to the other brig to 
" stand by vessel in distress," and three man-of-war's 
boats were rowing alongside to haul us off, the rising 
tide floated us aright, and we were soon again on our 
course. The next signal from the admiral's ship, 
" Proceed to Amoy," relieved us from the suspense in 
which the possibility of our accompanying him across 
to the island of Formosa had kept our minds. Soon 
after we came to anchor, among a fleet of junks and 
opium vessels, till the next morning, when we crossed 
the bar, and proceeded before a fresh breeze, nine knots 


an hour, towards Amoy. At daybreak on Jan. 10th 
we arrived among the islands which, at the distance 
of about eight miles from the city of Amoy, stretch 
across the mouth of an extensive bay, formed by two 
projecting headlands on the coast. The harbour en- 
closed within extends for several miles, being open to 
the sea on the south-east, and having on the south the 
lofty hill of Lam-tai-boo, situated on the mainland, 
and surmounted by a conspicuous pagoda. On the 
south-west lies an island, with another conspicuous 
pagoda, at the entrance of the river leading to the city 
of Chang-chew, the capital of the department of that 
name. On the east, at a greater distance, lies the 
island of Quemoy. The island of Amoy itself fills up 
the north and north-west of this circular range of 
hills, which rival each other in the bold grandeur of 
their towering cliffs and the wild sterility of their 
scenery. Sailing along the southern shore of the 
island, which is here lined with an extensive range of 
batteries close to the water-edge, we at length came 
to anchor in the lesser harbour, between the city and 
the opposite island of Koo-lang-soo, which lies about 
half a mile distant from Amoy. After another hour I 
found myself domiciled among the Missionaries, expe- 
riencing that hearty welcome and hospitality which 
I never failed to receive, both from British and Ame- 
rican Missionaries, during my visit to the consular 
ports of China. 

A brief relation of the part which Amoy bore in the 
events of the British war with Cl ina, and of the cir- 
cumstances attending the arrival of the first Protestant 
Missionaries, will be appropriate, and necessary to 
enable the reader to form a right estimate of the 


present position of the Mission. A more general 
description of Amoy will be reserved till a later 
period of the narrative, and will also be gathered from 
the journal of daily occurrences. 

In the summer of 1840, on the sailing of the British 
expedition northward to Chusan, Amoy had been 
exempted from the desolating terror of British arms. 
In a later period of the same summer, the " Blonde " 
frigate was despatched to Amoy, to deliver to the 
local authorities a copy of a letter addressed by the 
Foreign Secretary of State, Lord Palmerston, to the 
principal officers and advisers of the Chinese emperor. 
The same letter had been sent also to other places in 
the north of China, where the native authorities, after 
transcribing the contents, had politely returned it to 
the messenger, with the haughty intimation that 
neither the subject nor the style was suited to the 
dignity of the imperial glance. At Amoy not even 
this semblance of civility was shown ; and the Manda- 
rins refused to receive the letter, or even to hold any 
communication with the frigate. The interpreter, 
who was deputed by the commanding officer to go 
ashore and explain the objects of his visit, was also 
fired upon in the boat. This drew down a severe 
cannonade on the fort and city walls, which were 
speedily emptied of their defenders. The absence of 
a regular military force prevented further hostilities ; 
and the commander contented himself with erecting 
on the beach a bamboo-staff, with a proclamation and 
the letter attached, for the information of the inhabi- 
tants; after which the "Blonde" took her departure. 

In August of the following year (1841) Amoy was 
destined to become the scene of more destructive 


operations. The British squadron, on its second 
voyage from the south of China, appeared off the har- 
bour on August 26th. A combined attack of the ves- 
sels of war on the batteries of Amoy and Koo-lang-soo, 
and the landing of a body of the troops, so as to flank 
the Chinese troops engaged on the sea battery, after a 
few hours dispersed the Chinese ; and the British, ad- 
vancing without further resistance, made themselves 
masters of the high ground on the east of the city, 
where they bivouacked for the night. The next morn- 
ing they entered the city, which had been generally 
deserted by the people, and the commander-in-chief 
quartered himself, with the troops, in the palace of 
the principal Chinese officer, the te-tok, or admiral. 
Very little spoil was found in the city, which is a 
mere outport to more important cities in the neigh- 
bourhood, and is not famous for the wealth of its 
traders. Numerous excesses were committed by the 
Indian troops ; and even to the present time husbands 
and fathers speak, with excited feelings of indignation, 
of the outrages committed on their families, which 
disgraced that occasion. Proclamations were issued 
by the British commander, promising protection to 
the well-disposed inhabitants, and inviting them to 
return to the city. This was the means of partially 
gaining the confidence of the population, who soon 
reverted to their former trades and occupations, and 
never had reason to complain of the general treat- 
ment which they subsequently received. The main 
body of the force proceeded northward to Chusan. 
Three vessels of war and a military force were left to 
garrison the island of Koo-lang-soo, and to overawe 
the city of Amoy, from which the troops were imme- 


diately removed, Koo-lang-soo henceforth becoming 
the head-quarters and residence for the British. 
From this time the island remained in the quiet occu- 
pation of the British, and Amoy itself was unaffected 
by the subsequent events of the campaign in the 
north. In August 1842 (one year after its capture) 
Koo-lang-soo was temporarily ceded, with Chusan, to 
the British, by the terms of the treaty of Nanking, till 
the payment of the stipulated indemnity money. In 
the beginning of 1845 it was voluntarily ceded by the 
British to the Chinese, about twelve months before the 
stipulated time of cession ; and the few British resi- 
dents who remained passed over to Amoy, where they 
experienced no difficulty in procuring suitable houses 
amongst a friendly and respectful people. 

The first Protestant Missionaries to Amoy had ar- 
rived at Koo-lang-soo in the beginning of 1842, which, 
it is necessary to bear in mind, was a few months pre- 
vious to the "treaty of perpetual peace and friend- 
ship." Two American clergymen, Rev. D. Abeel 
(now, it is to be feared, lingering in the last extremity 
of pulmonary disease in his native land) and the Rev. 
W. J. Boone (now Bishop of the American Episcopal 
Church at Shanghai), commenced their Missionary 
work, by preaching, on the first Sabbath after their 
arrival, in the Fokeen dialect of the district, which 
they had exclusively studied at Singapore and in Java 
among the numerous emigrants from this part of 
China. Being unconnected with the British, they 
occasionally ventured across from Koo-lang-soo to 
Amoy ; and although, in the excited state of the popu- 
lar mind, the experiment was by no means safe, their 
knowledge of the dialect enabled them to remonstrate 


with the people on the very first appearance of danger, 
and to disarm the first symptoms of hostility. After 
being for a time deemed neutral, they soon were 
regarded even as friends; and the frequent cases of 
maltreatment which they were able, as gratuitous in- 
terpreters to the British commandant, to avert or 
remedy by their influence, soon caused the Missiona- 
ries, as a body, to be viewed as peaceable, upright, and 
good men. Frequent cases occurred, also, in which, 
as interpreters, they were able to mediate between 
the British and the native authorities, which secured 
for them, among the latter, feelings of respect, in 
some cases perhaps associated with the character 
of the American nation, rather than of the Christian 
religion. It is, however, due to those excellent 
men to state, that there appear to be no grounds 
for suspecting them of a desire to encourage this 
confusion of ideas, or to sink, in the slightest de- 
gree, their distinctive character as Missionaries of the 
Cross into that of mere partisans or patriots. Their 
numbers were strengthened by gradual additions, both 
of British and American Missionaries. After recent 
losses by death or removal, they now amounted to six 
in number, four of whom were Americans, and two 
British. At the cession of Koo-lang-soo they migrated 
with the mercantile residents and the British Consulate 
to Amoy, where they now resided on the edge of the 
water, opposite to Koo-lang-soo, having two chapels 
situated in streets about a quarter of a mile distant, 
in which divine service and preaching were regu- 
larly held. 

During the first week after my arrival at Amoy, I 
paid frequent visits, with some of the Missionaries, to 


the opposite island of Koo-lang-soo. After a few 
minutes' sailing in a boat, we landed on a long cause- 
way of large granite slabs roughly hewn, and very 
slippery from the multitude of little shell-fish left on 
them at high water. The island itself is about a mile 
in length, and the same in width at its broadest part. 
Partaking of the same general ruggedness of aspect, 
which is the almost unvarying feature of the whole 
coast of China, from the mountainous shores of Shan- 
tung to the rocky cliffs of Hainan, it possesses a 
romantic beauty of scenery peculiarly its own, in the 
glens and defiles which, in alternate succession, con- 
duct the visitor among the overhanging masses of 
rock of every imaginable form and appearance. In 
some parts, little groves of banian-trees encircle a few 
houses ; and the signs of cultivation are to be seen in 
the crops of wheat and rice which line the beach 
on its level parts. There are only two villages on 
the island, which are prettily situated on the sea-side. 
Of these, one lies on the shore opposite to Amoy ; the 
other occupies the northern and more picturesque 
extremity of the island. A series of gardens, with 
their rich foliage, rise gracefully up the slope of a 
little hill, till they meet the same odd jumble of 
chasms and boulder-stones, piled aloft or loosely scat- 
tered around ; huge masses of rock forming peaks on 
high, and seeming to vibrate in the air and to quiver 
in their nicely-balanced position. From the eminence 
at the extreme southern point a fine view is obtained of 
the outer harbour, and of the Six Islands, with the 
sea beyond. On this point of land a British flag-staff 
and battery formerly stood, commanding the approach 
to Amoy. In the centre of the island the ground 


generally rises by a gentle acclivity, except in a few 
parts where the granite peaks suddenly rear their 
towering heads. The island of Koo-lang-soo com- 
mands the city on the opposite side, and was well 
selected as the quarters of the British garrison, who 
formed too small a force to be left in occupation 
of the populous city itself. On the evacuation of the 
British, every building, and every object which served 
to remind them of British occupation, were destroyed 
or removed. The barracks, the forts, the flag-staffs, 
and even the frame-work of the windows and veran- 
dahs, were all speedily demolished, and the materials 
converted into firewood. The work of destruction 
continued, till no remnants of the foreigners remained, 
and the houses were restored to their primitive condi- 
tion. The work of purgation was vigorously persisted 
in. The roads were dug up, and the fields had again 
begun to assume the appearance of cultivation. The 
power of superstition and the aid of heathen priests 
were duly invoked. Scarcely a day passed without 
processions of idols, which were to be seen passing in 
boats through the harbour amongst the fleet of junks, 
each of which, with loudly-sounding gongs, saluted the 
deity as it passed under the vessel towards the island 
on the opposite side. The fearful mortality, which 
carried off so many of the British, and which was un- 
known previous to their occupation of the island, had 
continued to prevail to an alarming extent during the 
previous summer, notwithstanding the gradual resump- 
tion of tillage. In one family, known to the Missio- 
naries, and occupying one house, out of nine persons, 
seven had fallen victims to the prevailing fever. Even 
those who tilled the ground generally returned after 


the day's labour to the less insalubrious residence of 
Amoy to spend the night. The fears of the ignorant 
imputed the common calamity to the evil spirits of 
the English, who had been buried on the island. The 
superstitions of the people magnified every little 
event ; and the villagers were to be heard expatiating 
on the mysterious scenes which they had witnessed, 
of the ghosts of barbarians running up and down the 
hills at night, and " talking English most fearfully." 
On the first occasion of my visit, a large platform was 
erected in the northern village. Close by was a tem- 
porary building, destined to be succeeded, at some 
future period, by a more substantial edifice. In this 
the idols had been duly installed, and the tutelary 
deities were invited back to resume their rule. Some 
priests of the Taou sect stood by to re-consecrate the 
spot, with attendants bearing cakes, fruits, and sweet- 
meats ; while others beat drums and gongs, or played 
some sacred air on a wind-instrument resembling the 
bagpipe. A mournful chant was commenced, and 
they moved forward in slow and solemn procession to 
mount the platform, where the offering of gilt paper 
and the burning of incense were prolonged amid the 
anxious interest of the village crowd. Subscriptions 
of money had been levied on the inhabitants of Koo- 
lang-soo and Amoy ; and the afflicted people endea- 
voured to encourage themselves in the hope that their 
calamities of war and pestilence were now in course 
of termination. 

Some European graves on the eastern beach proved 
the former existence of a foreign trade at Amoy. Two 
grave-stones, with English inscriptions, bore the re- 
spective dates of 1698 and 1700. There was also a 

c c 


grave-stone, erected to the memory of a Spaniard. In 
another part were buried the remains of a former 
Roman-Catholic Bishop. There are also independent 
grounds for believing that a considerable trade and 
intercourse existed in former times between the Dutch 
in Formosa and the Chinese at Amoy. 

Indelible monuments of^he recent foreign occupa- 
tion remained in the crowded British cemetery, in 
which lay the unfortunate sufferers who fell victims to 
the insalubrity of the spot. This cemetery was situated 
at the eastern side of the island, near the landing-place, 
and had many elegant grave-stones, erected by the sym- 
pathy of surviving comrades. Near the northern vil- 
lage, screened from view by a little assemblage of trees, 
was situated the burial-ground of the Missionaries. 
The unhealthiness of the climate had been severely 
felt by this class of the Lord's labourers, who followed 
in the train of earthly conquerors, to extend the blood- 
less conquests of their divine Saviour. During the 
last thirteen months, out of twenty-five members of 
the Missionary families, eighteen had been removed by 
various providential events. Three Missionaries had 
permanently left, either from the failure of their own 
health, or of that of their families. Two wives of 
Missionaries had set out for their native land, on ac- 
count of ill health, one of whom died on the voyage ; 
while two others had been suddenly summoned from 
the scenes of their Missionary work to higher employ- 
ment in a better world. Two children had died, and 
nine others had been sent to Europe or America. Six 
Missionaries now remained, one of whom was married ; 
so that there were in all seven labourers on the field. 
In this little retired spot of ground were interred 


the bodies of three female Missionaries, Mrs. Boone, 
Mrs. Dotey, and Mrs. Pohlman, with the two children 
of the last. They left America in the vigour of youth, 
to consecrate their lives to the Missionary work ; but 
were cut down, one after another, by premature 
death, leaving their earthly partners to sorrow not 
as those who have no hope. Appropriate texts and 
inscriptions on the grave-stones told the confidence 
of the departed in that Saviour in whom they had 
trusted, and their devotion, even in the cold embrace 
of death, to that work in which they had humbly 
sought to spend and be spent. Among all the achieve- 
ments which the annals of fame or the affection of the 
living delight to tell of the departed dead, where is 
the man, who has tasted the good word of God and the 
powers of the world to come, who will not concede that 
the most substantial glory is that which silently adorns 
the Missionary's grave ? 

c c 2 






JAN. 16th The friendly intercourse held by the Mis- 
sionaries with the Chinese authorities at Amoy en- 
couraged me to pay a visit to the hai-hong, the princi- 
pal officer in municipal matters, whose jurisdiction, 
similar to that of a lord-mayor, extended over the 
city and island of Amoy. His predecessor, whom he 
succeeded a few months ago, was a man of very 
liberal views, and sometimes visited the Missionaries 
without any ceremony or state, on which occasions he 
used to take their children on his knee, and play 
with them in the most friendly manner. The present 
hai-hong possessed a large measure of his predecessor's 
liberal views and popular manners, and was at all 
times accessible. We walked over some rugged 
rising ground near the beach, covered with tombs, the 
masonry of which was in some cases dilapidated 
through age, so as to expose the decayed coffins to 
view. We soon arrived at the suburban hamlet of 
Ha-mun-ka, in which the hai-hong's residence is 
situated. A couple of long open courts and some 
flights of steps conducted us at length to the recep- 
tion-rooms and large open halls at the end of a raised 


area. The hai-hong had just gone to transact some 
official business with the other Mandarins at the te- 
tok's palace within the city, and, according to annual 
custom, to seal up the public books and documents, 
for the purpose of terminating all business during 
the period of the new-year holidays, which lasted 
from this, the 19th day of the twelfth moon, to the 
20th day of the first moon. Two of his secretaries 
received us, and conducted us into a little room on 
the right, where they entertained us with tea and 
oranges, and continued questioning us for half-an-hour, 
till the usual discharge of guns and beating of gongs 
announced the approach of the hai-hong himself on 
his return home. Our cards, inscribed with our Chi- 
nese names, having been first sent in according to due 
form, an attendant returned to usher us into the large 
reception-hall. Here the hai-hong himself, wearing 
his cap, surmounted by a crystal button, and adorned 
with a peacock's feather behind, with ornaments of 
necklaces, and embroidery on his breast, advanced 
to welcome us. He shook hands with us, and ad- 
dressed us separately by our names, affixing to each 
the appellation of " teacher." He placed himself at 
the lowest seat ; and as we sipped tea together, with 
about twenty attendants standing around, various 
questions passed between him and the two American 
Missionaries by whom I was accompanied. A sub- 
ordinate officer interpreted between them, as the 
Missionaries understood only the local dialect, and 
the hai-hong spoke the Peking or Court dialect. 
Occasionally a few words, in the Court dialect, passed 
between the hai-hong and myself. Hearing that I 
was a hung maou seen-sang, " an English teacher," he 


asked if I was a le pai seen-sang, " a religious teacher." 
I replied, that I was a chuen keaou, " a propagator of 
religion," and asked if our objects in coming to the 
Central Kingdom met his approbation. He replied, 
that as we had come in order to teach men to act 
irtuously, our object was good and benevolent, and 
fie could not therefore but highly approve of it. 
During the rest of the interview, he took frequent 
occasion to commend our work, though he did not 
go so far as his predecessor in office, who once 
expressed his hope to Mr. Abeel that the Missionaries 
would convert the people to Christianity, as they 
would then become more loyal subjects. The present 
of a Christian Almanack led to an examination of the 
maps, and to many questions about England and her 
possessions. He especially asked where India (Yin- 
too) was situated. He then inquired how long I had 
been in China, what amount of time I had devoted to 
Chinese studies, and what parts of the coast I had 
visited. He then asked to which of the five ports I 
gave the preference, and whether I liked Fokeen 
province as well as Che-keang. In the course of my 
reply, I took an opportunity of acquainting him that 
my friends were Americans, and I myself was an 
Englishman ; but that the doctrines, which we pro- 
fessed in common, made all nations brethren and 
friends. This led to renewed professions of admira- 
tion of our religion, and the statement of his wish to 
be included among the number of our friends. He 
expressed his hope that, if we wanted any favour, we 
would not hesitate to convey our wishes to him ; and 
intimated to us that he also, on his part, should place 
similar confidence in our willingness to confer acts 


of kindness on himself. This sounded rather strange 
to me at the time, but received explanation from the 
fact, of which I was afterwards informed, that the 
Chinese authorities sometimes send a private mes- 
senger to the Missionaries for information on various 
matters affecting their intercourse with foreigners. 
An instance of this kind lately occurred on the visit 
of the French ambassador to a city forty miles in the 
interior, by which the jealous surmises of the Man- 
darins were excited. Their suspicions were removed 
by the information of the Missionaries, who, in reply 
to the official messenger, stated their opinion that the 
French were uninfluenced by any sinister designs, 
and actuated by no other motive than curiosity. The 
presence of a body of men, whose knowledge of the 
language enables them to hold free communication 
with the Chinese, and whose objects form to the 
Mandarins a guarantee for their integrity, cannot be 
regarded otherwise than as an advantage even to the 
secular interests of Europeans. 

After making some inquiries from the two Missio- 
naries respecting a barometer and a telescope, which 
he had commissioned them to purchase for him, and 
expressing some strange notions on the subject of 
land-mists and sea-mists, he exchanged a few words, 
in a low tone of voice, with an attendant. The latter, 
watching his opportunity, whispered into the ear of 
one of our party that the hai-hong had a number of 
persons outside waiting for him to transact some 
important business. This hint induced us to hasten 
our departure, amid the greetings of the hai-hong, 
who accompanied us to the outer court. Here we 
found about a hundred officers, police-runners, and 


lictors, regularly drawn up in files, awaiting his exit. 
As we passed out of the courts into the neighbouring 
street, our ears were greeted with the sounds of 
pipes and drums, which form the usual salute to 
visitors at the houses of the great. 

We proceeded thence along the broad cause-way, 
by which the victorious British troops advanced to- 
wards the citadel on the capture of Amoy. It had 
some old triumphal arches and gates, with some tem- 
ples on either side of the road. We entered into one 
of these temples, which had no idols, but was com- 
pletely filled with rows of ancestral tablets, altogether 
amounting to about three thousand in number. It 
had been recently erected by the public subscriptions 
of the officers and people, and was intended to com- 
memorate the unfortunate multitudes, who had been 
swept away by a fearful inundation in the neighbour- 
hood. This disastrous occurrence took place in the 
year 1842, when whole villages were swept away from 
the vale of Chang-chew on the opposite mainland. 
Hundreds of bodies were washed down the river, and 
carried out into the sea by the current. Numbers 
were also borne alongside the British vessels of war 
then lying on the other side of Koo-lang-soo. This 
building was erected to receive the ancestral tablets 
of those families which had perished in the common 
disaster. Many of the tablets had been carried away, 
together with the temples which contained them, by 
the all-destroying force of the waters. Such of the 
tablets as had been recovered from the general de- 
struction were carefully placed together in this tem- 
ple, erected for the purpose. In the inscription 
above the entrance we beheld as positive a proof as 


could be required of the direct worship paid to 
departed spirits, and the real demonolatry of the 
Chinese : Yew kew peih ying, " Those who pray will 
of necessity obtain a response/' tantamount to the 
words of Scripture, Ask, and ye shall receive. Each 
tablet was inscribed with the number of generations 
through which the family was traced some thirteen, 
some fourteen, and others seventeen. Although a 
Chinese regards with superstitious, and even idola- 
trous veneration, the ancestral tablets of his own 
family, he does not extend the same feelings of 
reverential awe to those of other families. It is not 
uncommon for them to place the tablets of obsolete 
or extinct families in some little spot, with an idol 
presiding as a protector. They will, however, suffer 
them to be removed, and sometimes even encourage 
their removal by any one whose curiosity may prompt 
to the act, and who will not wantonly injure them. A 
Chinese of my acquaintance readily volunteered to 
procure me a couple of tablets from this temple. He 
seemed to consider them as common property, and 
their removal to involve no act of desecration or dis- 
honesty, as the original owners had no longer any 

In one of the narrow streets we entered an idol- 
shop, where idols of every pattern and quality were 
procurable, the prices varying from several dollars 
each to the low sum of six cash, equal to about one 
farthing. The licensed permission of the Mandarins 
to pursue the vocation of idol-maker was visibly de- 
picted on a sign-board in the shop. On another board 
was a notice that precious Budhas were there manu- 
factured or repaired. A large number of idols, of 


every shape and in every stage of manufacture, were 
lying around. Another idol-manufactory had the sign 
suspended over the door, " The golden Budha shop.'' 
These shops were to be seen at every quarter of a 
mile, and presented groups of images, some black with 
age and sent hither for regilding, and others gaudily 
painted and fresh from the hand of the artist. Some 
had stern visages ; some wore the expression of plea- 
sure ; and all looked exceedingly grotesque. The 
people outside would readily enter into the subject, 
and laugh heartily as the Missionary pointed out to 
them the unreasonable character of worship paid to 
such divinities. 

The people everywhere showed the same polite 
attentions and friendly disposition ; and although the 
Missionaries spoke boldly their sentiments on idolatry, 
they did not appear to excite any ill-will. Mis- 
takes at the commencement of the Mission were 
sometimes made by the people, as to the objects 
and motives of Missionaries. A Chinese came, soon 
after their first arrival, and proposed to one of them 
to effect an expulsion of the present Tartar dynasty, 
which he demonstrated to be perfectly easy, if they 
would only bring 4000 men to Amoy, to assist in carry- 
ing out his plan ! As we passed along the street, in the 
immediate vicinity of the residences of the Missiona- 
ries, the frequent salutation greeted our ears, "Have 
you eaten rice to-day?" "Have you eaten to the 
full?" A special degree of interest seemed to be 
produced on their minds by the arrival of a new 
teacher ; and whenever I walked alone through these 
streets, they endeavoured, in their simple manner, to 
make me welcome by many acts of politeness and 


good-humoured remarks, the meaning of which I 
could better understand by their looks than by their 
language. The ropemakers, who thronged some of 
the streets, generally called out to me as I endea- 
voured to pass under the lines across the street, and 
stopped their work that I might be enabled to cross 
over without having to stoop. 

Jan. ISth (Sunday) A description of the Missionary 
services of this day will give an idea of the usual 
course of Sabbath duties at Amoy. At 9 A.M. a Chi- 
nese service was held at each of the two Missionary 
chapels, one of which belonged to the American Board 
of Foreign Missions, and the other to the London 
Missionary Society. They were commodiously situ- 
ated among the population, having been rented at a 
moderate annual sum, and converted, at a small ex- 
pense, from trading hongs, or warehouses, into chapels 
capable of holding one hundred and fifty persons, with 
moveable benches for seats. At 10 A. M. a Missionary 
service was held among the Chinese, at the hospital, 
by the medical Missionary who presided over the insti- 
tution. At 11 A.M. an English service was held at the 
house of one of the Missionaries, at which two or three 
other Europeans sometimes were present. At 3 p. M. 
another Chinese service was held at the two chapels. 
Besides these services on Sundays, the Missionaries 
generally visited one of the chapels every afternoon, 
for the purpose of conversing with those whom cu- 
riosity might induce to enter. These afternoon visits 
were intermitted on those days on which they had a 
Chinese Bible class at their own houses for their 
teachers, domestics, and constant hearers. On one 
afternoon in the week there was also a special meeting 


for women, at the house of the only married Mis- 
sionary, whose wife survived and was able to remain at 
Amoy. She frequently received visits from her female 
neighbours, and had continual access to their houses ; 
by which friendly intercourse many prejudices were 
removed, and their confidence was gained. 

At the first public service which I attended, the 
Missionary who officiated addressed about fifty Chi- 
nese, drawing his comparisons and illustrations from 
the customs of the approaching new year. He re- 
marked on the scrupulous care with which they settled 
their accounts, prepared their garments, and made 
other arrangements for a suitable observance of the 
holiday. He drew an argument from this their exces- 
sive care in unimportant concerns, to the greatness of 
their moral responsibility in the higher matter of pre- 
paring to meet their God, and using every effort to 
secure the salvation of their immortal souls. The 
regular attendants were very attentive, and listened in 
silence. The new comers were much less reverent, 
and sometimes interrupted the preacher with remarks 
or questions. One elderly gentleman, attired in a silk 
gown, entered the room, bowing and nodding to the 
preacher and the other persons present, whom he hap- 
pened to recognise, as he was conducted by a Chinese, 
who acted as a sexton, to a bench near the place 
where I was sitting. The old man frequently gave 
vent to a half-suppressed laugh, as the Missionary laid 
open to view the interior scenes and detailed prepara- 
tions of Chinese families in the prospect of the ap- 
proaching festival. Again the old man's countenance 
became grave, and his looks bespoke deep attention, 
till some pointed remark or happy allusion again drew 


forth a stifled laugh or an audibly expressed commen- 
dation. After the sermon, a middle-aged Chinese, 
of rather shabby exterior, went round and tried to 
sound our breasts, for the purpose of listening whether 
our hearts were good or wicked. He made many 
comments after each experiment, in a way which left 
doubt whether to regard him as a person of weak 
mind or eccentric wit. On a previous occasion he 
once interrupted the preacher for several minutes, in 
the midst of his sermon, standing up and making 
a lengthened harangue to those present, in order to 
prove to them that all this attention and concern 
respecting the future was unnecessary, and that the 
best way to happiness was to banish all care and 
thought about such matters from the mind. At the 
hospital all the Chinese knelt down during the prayer. 
In the chapels, where the congregations consisted of a 
mixed class of hearers, those only who had been regu- 
lar in their attendance were observed to kneel. About 
twenty-five Chinese in all had been for some time under 
instruction, and came nearly every day to the Missio- 
naries. Two of these were old men, who had been 
four years under a course of daily instruction. Their 
baptism had been deferred so long, possibly even from 
an excess of caution unwarranted by scriptural exam- 
ples, but, nevertheless, under the strong conviction, 
that, in the present circumstances of the Mission, 
delay was far preferable to a premature admission of 
converts ; which, though it might increase the number 
of professing Christians, was calculated also to lower 
the standard of spiritual religion in the eyes of the 

The most regular attendants on the services were 


the following individuals, many of whom (as will be 
perceived) were those who, from their situation or 
employment, were in some measure dependent on the 
Missionaries, and whose sincerity might, on that ac- 
count, be exposed to suspicion. There were the two 
old men, who were soon to be admitted to baptism, 
Hok que-peh and Un sea-pai, both of whom keep 
small shops, and rigidly abstain from trade and other 
secular business on the Sabbath. There was also a 
rich old merchant, engaged in the tea trade with Can- 
ton, whose son had been advanced to the literary 
degree of keu-jin, and was then at Peking, waiting for 
political preferment. The old gentleman was gene- 
rally known by the title of ta laou-yay, or "his lord- 
ship," this being a title of salutation given to Manda- 
rins of some of the intermediate ranks, and also con- 
ferred by conventional usage on the fathers of the 
higher classes of literary graduates. China is proba- 
bly the only country in the world where a son can 
thus, by his own individual merits, ennoble a father 
with a title of honour. Another, also, of the daily 
hearers was an old reclaimed opium smoker, named 
Lim pai, who subsisted on his own small independent 
means, and passed a great deal of his time in the 
society of the Missionaries, according to his own pro- 
fessions, in order to avoid the ensnaring influence of 
his former boon-companions, and to be removed out of 
the way of temptation. Among the regular atten- 
dants there were also two old men, nearly blind, 
named Ma sing-hea and Shwui lo, the latter being a 
keeper of one of the chapels, in an upper room of 
which he resided. Another old man, Ban hea, who 
was formerly inclined to embrace the Roman-Catholic 


religion, but was deterred by fear of persecution, was 
also a constant visitor of the Missionaries. Among 
the middle-aged and younger men were Khey cheong, 
a manufacturer of idol-paper for offerings, who pro- 
fessed to be troubled in conscience at the sinfulness of 
his calling, and wished to change his trade ; Hok ha, 
a ropemaker, of very promising character ; Ching 
han, a medical student attached to the Missionary 
hospital ; and An jean, a leper who had been for some 
time a patient in the hospital. There were also the 
six teachers of the Missionaries, two of them being 
graduates of the first or lowest degree. All of the 
teachers appeared to be intellectually well acquainted 
with the doctrines of Christianity, and assented to the 
excellence and truth of the Gospel. One of them, 
Tan seen-sang, after receiving preparatory instruction 
from a Missionary during the morning, frequently 
accompanied him in the afternoon to the chapel and 
to other places, where he took his turn in addressing 
the assembled Chinese. Of the expediency of this 
course different persons may possibly take opposite 
views: much, however, depends on the wisdom and 
judgment exercised by the individual Missionary on 
such occasions. There were also eleven other Chi- 
nese attached to the families of Missionaries, or to the 
hospital, whose daily opportunities had enabled them 
to gain an insight into the more prominent doctrines 
of Christianity, but who had not yet shown any decided 
proofs of a change of heart. All these persons had 
ceased to worship idols ; but with the exception of the 
two old men about to be admitted to baptism, they 
had not generally adopted the decided course of expel- 
ling the images from their household. The old Ta laou- 


yay adopted the custom of burning incense-sticks on a 
household altar, from which he had recently expelled 
the idol, and on which he said that he offered incense 
to the one true God. Notwithstanding the frequent 
censures of the Missionaries on this part of his conduct, 
he still availed himself of every opportunity of attend- 
ing the services, and might be seen every day at one 
of the chapels, with his Chinese Testament and hymn- 
book. He sometimes expressed a desire to be bap- 
tized, and appeared to be sincerely convinced of the 
superiority of the Christian religion ; but his self- 
righteous views, and love of the material worship of 
incense, pointed him out as on the broad road to 
Popery, whenever he might be brought into contact 
with a ritual form of worship, so studiously addressed 
to the senses and the imagination. The largest 
attendance which I witnessed, at either of the chapels, 
was about one hundred. 

At the religious meeting for women, men were not 
generally admitted: on one or two occasions, how- 
ever, I was present. A Missionary and his wife, with 
one Chinese teacher and about twenty women, formed 
our little assembly. The teacher addressed them 
with much animation, and the Missionary concluded 
with a suitable prayer, during which all knelt. At 
the close, the women made remarks on the doctrines 
being good ; and after some further conversation, and 
taking tea together, departed to their homes. 




THE approach of the new-year holidays imparted for 
the next few days an air of excitement to the busy 
masses in the narrow crowded streets. In one of my 
daily excursions with the Missionaries through the 
city, we visited the temple of Kwante, the " god of 
war," in whose image a piece of glass on the belly 
was intended to represent the soul of the deity. Two 
images of his attendants, with their usual fierce looks, 
stood near to affright the superstitious. Near this 
was also a temple of Budh's mother, whose image was 
furnished with eighteen hands. A neighbouring hall 
contained eighteen images, which represented the 
eighteen original disciples of Budh. In these temples 
we distributed copies of a tract composed for the 
season, being an address to the people " on crossing 
the new year." 

D D 


We afterwards entered the citadel, or city proper, 
which is included within the walls, and contains only 
a small portion of the population. After a few mi- 
nutes we reached the opposite gate to that by which 
we had entered, and soon again passed into the outer 
city on our return. A number of ornamented boxes, 
or cabinets, about two feet in width, were to be seen, 
at every two hundred yards, projecting from the 
corner of some house, and having their exterior in- 
scribed with various sentences, one of which intimated 
to the reader that " every fragrant action would have 
its remembrance." These, on inquiry, proved to be 
little chests, voluntarily provided by the more super- 
stitious of the shopkeepers, to become the depository 
of pieces of paper inscribed with writing, in order 
that no one might violate the sanctity of the Chinese 
written character by tossing away these precious 
fragments to be trodden under foot. At the new- 
moon festival these scraps of paper are consumed, 
according to custom, to prevent any imaginary dese- 

In all directions, also, were to be seen a number of 
moral tracts, which, at this period of the year, were 
conspicuously displayed on the walls in places of 
public resort, and contained the well-intended exhor- 
tations to virtue, addressed by some native scholar to 
his less-instructed countrymen. One of these was the 
production of a sew-tsai graduate of Chang-chew, who, 
after sundry magniloquent remarks of a prefatory 
kind, exhorted his readers to regain their primitive 
rectitude and virtue. About the middle of the sheet 
a succession of diagrams or figures represented the 
heart of man in the several stages of its downward 


career to vice. The heart was first white, without 
blemish or spot, and a quotation was subjoined from 
the ancient classics, to show that " man's disposition 
is originally good." The next figure represented 
the heart, with a small patch of black, to denote 
incipient deterioration, the effect of neglected educa- 
tion. The third, fourth, and fifth figures, with the 
gradually increasing amount of black, denoted the 
gradual but certain progress of moral depravity ; till 
the sixth, with its rudely-shapen heart, entirely filled 
up with black, showed the consummation of wicked- 
ness, and the complete ascendency of evil principles. 
The remaining six figures, with the brief moral sen- 
tences appended below, proceeded to illustrate the 
gradual restoration of the human heart, from the 
lowest depths of depravity to the pure unsullied white 
of original virtue, by obedience to the maxims of the 
sages and the practice of good. Another part of the 
sheet described the same progress to evil and restora- 
tion to virtue, by means of hearts placed in different 
degrees of obliquity. Copies of this moral tract had 
been liberally circulated at Chang-chew by the ori- 
ginal composer. The wooden block, from which it 
had been printed, was sent to Amoy, where any one, 
who had sufficient benevolence or interest in the 
public morals, was permitted to strike off a number of 
impressions for distribution. The name and seal of 
the individual, who had the public spirit to incur the 
expense of the paper, ink, and printing of this new 
edition, were duly blazoned forth in red colour on the 
lower part of the sheet, as the reward of his good 

Another custom, universally prevalent at this season, 
DD 2 


and characteristic of the nation, deserves special no- 
tice. The entrance to every Chinese dwelling had 
visibly depicted on the door and door-posts*, as well 
as on the cross-beam above, two or more pair of anti- 
thetical sentences, chosen with great care from their 
approved writings, and generally combining a number 
of lucky expressions, as well as a neatly-contrived 
antithesis of ideas and cognate tones. The selection 
of these sentences requires an amount of classical 
knowledge and critical acumen, such as is only pos- 
sessed by literary persons. All the teachers of the 
Missionaries petitioned for a short vacation, to enable 
them to turn to their own pecuniary gain their respec- 
tive talents in selecting and writing these antithetical 
sentences. The poor scholars might be seen in all 
directions standing at a table in some street, or at the 
entrance of some temple, and selling their writings 
for a few copper cash ; the new year being the annual 
period for removing the old sentences and substituting 
new ones in their place. The paper on which they 
were written was of various colours; the general co- 
lour, however, being of a deep red. White paper 
denoted that the inmates had lost a parent during the 
past year. The second year's mourning required blue 
for a father ; yellow for a mother ; and carnation colour 
for grand-parents. A light red indicated the third 
year of mourning ; after which they reverted to the 
usual colour of a dark red. 

Numerous proclamations also, from the municipal 
authorities, appeared at this time on the walls adjoin- 
ing the gates of the citadel, on various subjects of 

* See Deuteronomy vi. 9. 


public exhortation. One of these public notices con- 
tained a warning from the district-magistrates, prohi- 
biting constables and other subordinate officials from 
apprehending individuals on the sanction of old war- 
rants, and thus seeking to obtain a bribe for their 

Jan. 2Qth This being the last day of the Chinese 
year, busy preparations were in progress for termi- 
nating business, for laying in a stock of provisions, and 
for celebrating the superstitious observances of the 
evening. In all directions companies of cooly-bearers 
might be seen carrying large packages of new-year 
presents to the friends of their master. In the various 
houses which we visited after sunset the head of the 
establishment, attended by his sons or his partners, 
was to be observed balancing his mercantile accounts, 
and settling the debts of the year. So punctilious are 
the Chinese in the observance of this commendable 
practice, that they say they could not enjoy the festive 
occasion, nor sleep during the night, unless they had 
previously relieved their mind of this burden. The 
swan-pwan, or counting board, was in constant use ; 
and when the business seemed well nigh terminated, 
and the books were about to be closed, a neighbour 
would hurry into the shop, and pecuniary transactions 
would again for a season be renewed. While these 
important matters were in progress, the family were 
engaged in burning gilt paper, with the occasional 
discharge of fireworks, and in making preparations for 
the peculiar annual custom named hivui loo, or " sur- 
rounding the furnace." This is performed by the 
members of each family sitting down to a substantial 
supper, with a pan of charcoal placed under the table 


in the centre of the party. The only explanation 
which they gave of this odd custom was, that fire is 
the most potent of the elements ; and hence, probably, 
they derived a notion of its efficacy in averting evil, 
or in strengthening the bonds of family union. The 
women observed this custom in an inner room by 
themselves ; while the master of the house, with his 
sons and his hired assistants, sat down in an outer 
room. In one of the families, in which we were in- 
vited to remain in order to view the detailed obser- 
vances of the occasion, the proprietor, a man appa- 
rently of some little wealth, sat down with his assis- 
tants, his younger son, and two little grandsons. The 
eldest son, a youth of about nineteen, sat near us, 
attending to our wants, but without partaking of the 
feast himself. Every minute he was on his legs, at- 
tending to the beckoning motions of his father, on 
whom he waited without the least appearance of its 
being esteemed unusual. At one time he brought a 
spoon, or a pair of chop-sticks ; at another time he 
fetched a paper-napkin for his father's use, or re- 
filled his glass with samshoo. The old gentleman, 
after a short time, became silent and drowsy. But 
the rest of the party meanwhile increased in mirth, 
as they rapidly consumed the good fare placed before 
them. The conversation became increasingly ani- 
mated, and some of the women soon entered at the 
further end, and joined in the subjects of amusement. 
These were the secondary wives of the household, the 
proper wife and the daughters-in-law being never 
permitted to mingle in the free unrestrained con- 
versation with strangers, which is sometimes allowed 
in the inferior class of female domestics. Great 


civility was shown to us, but we declined to partake 
of the feast. It was very melancholy to witness 
the habit of reckless lying, which manifested itself 
so frequently in their replies ; both the old man 
and the son showing not the least compunction or 
sense of shame in telling flagrant falsehoods whenever 
it suited their purpose. In reply to our question 
about one of the women present, the old man said, 
first, that she was an acquaintance ; then, shortly after, 
that she was a daughter-in-law ; and, at last, the plain 
truth came out, that she was one of his secondary 
wives. Not the slightest jealousy appeared to be 
cherished in regard to the latter class of wives, though 
the mistress of the family did not once make her ap- 
pearance. This lower class of women are generally 
purchased from poor parents as domestic servants, 
with the liberty of degrading them to the rank of in- 
ferior wives; which practice is generally prevalent, 
and is considered, even by their sages, to be strictly in 
accordance with moral rectitude, if the proper wife 
has given birth to no son. The offspring of both 
classes of wives are considered legitimate, although 
the sons of concubines, in inheriting the patrimony, 
receive only half as much as the sfc<i of the proper 
wife, or mistress of the household. 

The supper being ended, they next prepared for 
burning the small wooden frames of the lamps, which 
are generally kept burning day and night in the dark 
interior of their houses. From the ashes which 
remain they profess to derive means of ascertaining 
the exact period of the rainy and dry seasons of the 
coming year ; the knowledge of which is very impor- 
tant in a land where famine often exposes so many 


thousands to the danger of starvation, from the de- 
struction of their crops. Three little frames of lamps 
were brought, and placed ready for lighting on the 
pavement. The eldest son went forth into the street, 
and discharged some crackers, to drive away the evil 
spirits, while some of the domestics folded up about a 
bushel of gold and silver paper into the shape of 
lumps of silver. The eldest son returned and set fire 
to the materials, and in about ten minutes the whole 
was consumed to ashes. The live embers were then 
carefully distributed into twelve little heaps, answering 
to the twelve months of the year. They were then 
anxiously watched, the heap which first burnt out show- 
ing the most rainy month, and that which last burnt 
out indicating the month in which there would be most 
sunshine and least rain. Particular attention was 
directed to the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh 
months, as the rain, if excessive in those months, 
would cause mildew and blight of the harvest Ac- 
clamations of joy arose, as the second heap first died 
out, and predicted the greatest quantity of rain in the 
month when it would be most seasonable and least 
injurious. The fifth month was to be clear weather, 
and without rain. The sixth and seventh heaps, as 
the partially-consumed embers were left half red-hot 
and half black, denoted that there would be partly 
fine and partly rainy weather in the corresponding 
months. The result of the experiment seemed to 
give the assembled party great satisfaction, which was 
only slightly interrupted by our asking whether the 
next neighbour's heaps of consumed embers would 
coincide in the favourable prediction. To this they 
replied by begging us to mark the result in the course 


of the year ; and also by saying that they had nothing 
to do with their neighbour's house. The samshoo 
now passed around, and we left them to prolong their 
festivities for an hour or two, when they retired to 
rest, till the booming of the midnight watch-gun 
roused them from their slumbers, and they hastily rose 
to offer each other their new-year's congratulations, 
and to renew their feasting. 

The next morning the city authorities commemo- 
rated the new year, by assembling in a body, at dawn 
of day, and going forth in procession to an imperial 
temple in the suburb outside the north gate. There 
they made nine ko-tow, or knockings of the head on 
the ground before a large yellow screen, which, for 
the occasion, occupied the place of imperial royalty. 
This custom is renewed also on the emperor's birthday, 
and denotes the most decided act of submission. It 
was this ceremony which the imperial officers tried in 
vain to extort from former British ambassadors, as 
a token of vassalage. 

Wishing to obtain a closer view of Chinese domestic 
life, during this period of universal holiday, I availed 
myself of the opportunity of accompanying one of the 
American Missionaries on a series of calls at the 
houses of his more constant hearers. After visiting a 
few families in the immediate vicinity of our own 
residence, we directed our steps to the house of the 
old merchant, commonly addressed by the honourable 
title of Ta laou-yay. His house, of better exterior 
and larger size than the generality, enjoyed also the 
rare distinction of two lofty poles of honour, com- 
monly called joss-poles, and usually placed in front of 
houses of Mandarins and temples of the first order. 


These were badges of honour ceded to the old man on 
account of the successful literary career of his son, 
now absent at Peking. The room, into which we 
were conducted, was hung round with pictorial re- 
presentations of landscapes and fairy scenes, and 
delicate specimens of caligraphy. Among the latter 
were two tablets, one of which was covered with the 
character for " longevity," written in a hundred diffe- 
rent modes; and the other with the character for 
"happiness," written also in several different modes. 
Both scrolls had a highly-ornamented paper as a 
ground-work, and were sent as presents from Peking, 
by his son. On the table were lying the cards of the 
city Mandarins, sent out of compliment to his rank, 
and containing the usual good wishes of the season. 
Close to these was the new-year's state almanack, just 
received from the capital. On another part of the 
table lay a number of Christian tracts, and the Ten 
Commandments, with a commentary, which he said that 
he daily studied. He took me into an ante-room to 
view his son's library, consisting of about two thousand 
thin volumes, and occupying a book-shelf of moderate 
size. Returning into the larger room, he pointed me 
to a table at the upper end, occupying the place 
usually assigned to the family idols and the ancestral 
tablet, and bade me observe that there were no idols. 
Two candle-stands and a few incense-sticks still re- 
mained on this altar-table, with a cushion placed 
before it, on which he said that he knelt to pray, and 
burn incense to the one true God. I reminded him 
that God was present everywhere, and willing to 
receive worship in every place ; and that the state of 
the heart was more important than posture of body or 


burning of incense. A beverage, made from lotus- 
seed and a kind of dried fruit, with sweetmeats, was 
now served round ; during which time he made in- 
quiries respecting my visits to the other cities on the 
coast of China, and the cause of my contemplated 
return to England. He exhorted me to trust in Pro- 
vidence for the restoration of my health. He passed 
some high-flown compliments on ourselves, and made 
some general remarks on the favourable opinion of the 
Mandarins concerning the Missionaries, during which 
he professed to repeat some recently-uttered flattery 
of the officials respecting our integrity and benevo- 
lence. A son and a grandson stood at the entrance of 
the room, but did not utter a word, except when the 
conversation was specially directed to them ; where- 
upon they returned a modest reply, and again re- 
sumed their silent quiet manner. He permitted us 
at length to take our departure. 

Our next visit was to the house of an old man 
named Lim-pai, who had been recently reclaimed 
from opium-smoking. The comparative poverty of his 
present circumstances the consequence of the late 
British war had produced in him a fretfulness and 
irritability, which he had great difficulty in controlling. 
He was formerly a landowner in Koo-lang-soo, and 
was also the proprietor of some trading junks. The 
arrival of the British force involved him in ruin, and 
he had to effect his escape across to Amoy, where, 
though much reduced in circumstances, he had at this 
time sufficient means of subsistence ; his sons having 
become boatmen, and contributing to the support of 
their parent. According to the common custom 
everywhere prevalent in China, the whole family, 


down to the third generation, lived together in one 
house. Formerly he betrayed great excitement at 
the remembrance of his misfortunes, bemoaning his 
fate and the hardship of his lot. Latterly he appeared 
to have been softened by the exhortations of the Mis- 
sionaries to submit to the will of God ; my companion 
especially, on this occasion, adverting to his own 
recent domestic affliction in the loss of his wife and 
two children, and instancing his own comfort and 
trust in the mercy and love of a chastening Father. 
The old man's spirits were gradually cheered, and he 
talked about various matters of local interest. Seeing 
on the table, at the end of the room, the usual assem- 
blage of those emblems of superstition the family 
idols on the right hand, and the ancestral tablet in its 
corresponding case on the left I drew his attention 
to the inconsistency of this fact with his regular 
attendance at the chapel. I remarked also to him, 
that Ta laou-yay had put away his idols, and that 
I could have wished he had done the same. This ex- 
cited the old man to say some uncharitable things of 
Ta laou-yay ; in the course of which he called him an 
old hypocrite, and asserted that, if we could gain 
admission into the interior of the house, he doubted 
not that we should find the idols in some other room. 
A long conversation here took place, in which a ser- 
vant who accompanied us earnestly took part, on the 
difficulties and obstacles in the way of removing the 
family idols. The old man said that he never wor- 
shipped idols, and disbelieved in such nonsense ; but 
grandmothers, mothers, and wives were so supersti- 
tious the members of the family, who had to be 
consulted and won over, were so numerous and 


the domestic disturbance consequent on any rash 
step of this kind outraging their feelings would 
be so serious a matter that he preferred peace 
and quietness, and was compelled to let the 
idols remain merely for custom's sake, although 
he himself never would be so foolish as to worship 

We next visited Lim seen-sang, a man of some 
little property, who was engaged as teacher of one of 
the Missionaries. His uncle held office in some dis- 
tant part of the country, and had purchased for his 
nephew the literary degree of sew-tsai ; but by sub- 
sequent perseverance in his studies, Lim had also 
secured, by his own personal merit, further advance- 
ment to some intermediate literary honours beyond 
the first degree, as about a dozen certificates on 
the wall intimated. His grandmother having died 
during the past year, etiquette required that he 
should remain at home, and make no visits of 
ceremony at the new year. The new antithetical 
sentences, affixed to the door-posts and above the 
entrance, were characteristic of the general thirst 
for distinction : " May I be so learned as to 
secrete in my mind three myriads of volumes!" 
" May I know the affairs of the world for six thou- 
sand years ! " 

We afterwards walked within the citadel, and soon 
arrived in a close narrow lane, in which was situated 
the house of another of the teachers, Tan seen-sang, 
whom we found at home awaiting our visit. He had, 
much to our regret, incurred the expense of a little 
feast, to do honour to the occasion, of which we were 
compelled to partake. Several neighbours, chiefly 


women, were congregated in the court, and our host 
appeared rather proud of our visit. We were intro- 
duced separately to all the denizens of the little street, 
who came to present their congratulations. The 
wife came out after a little time, and having modestly 
paid her respects at a distance, soon retired into an 
inner room. The old mother was, however, more 
officious, and brought out her two young grandchild- 
ren, smartly attired. She seemed to be the presiding 
authority in the family ; and it was pleasing to 
observe the extreme deference universally paid to 
this elderly class of females. All the inmates of each 
family appeared to be united in the closest bonds, 
and to bring together their earnings to a common 
fund, from which they defrayed the expenses of sup- 
plying their daily wants. The old lady of the house- 
hold acted in the useful capacity of nurse, house- 
keeper, and adviser, and exercised over the members 
of the family a general control, which was never 
resisted. Her word was law, and her influence ap- 
peared to be paramount.* The teacher was a poor 
man, earning only six dollars a month from tuition. 
He seemed, however, contented ; and the old lady 
especially thanked my companion for his kindness to 

* The facts which have been interspersed through this volume, 
illustrative of the great deference to age and veneration for parents 
among the Chinese, cannot have failed to strike the reader. The 
national cohesion of China during so long and unprecedented a period 
of time, amid the frequent change of her dynasties and the ruin of 
surrounding empires, furnishes a remarkable historical comment on 
the temporal promise annexed to the Fifth Commandment : " Honour 
thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land 
which the Lord thy God giveth thee." 


entered into conversation with him, expressing his 
satisfaction with the doctrines which he had just 
heard, but saying that his mind was confused by the 
perplexing variety of religions ; viz. the Budhist, the 
Taouist, and the Roman-Catholic religions. He 
especially inquired whether we practised fasting ; in 
reply to which, he was informed that our mode of 
fasting consisted not in mere abstinence from par- 
ticular food, but in abstinence with a view to prayer, 
humiliation, and meditation, the moral state of the 
heart being the matter of essential importance. He 
was encouraged to renew his visits, and reminded of 
the unreasonableness of expecting to obtain an inti- 
mate knowledge of all the doctrines of the Gospel 
in a single hearing. 

E E 




IN the evening of the same day we were invited by 
Hok-ha, one of our neighbours, to pay a wedding- 
visit to his bride, to whom he was married on the 
preceding evening. He was a youth of about twenty- 
one years of age, apparently a sincere inquirer after 
Christian truth, and a constant attendant on the 
means of grace, both at the chapel and at Mr. Pohl- 
man's family devotions. His father died eleven years 
ago, and he was now an assistant to his uncle, a 
ropemaker. The latter, on whom he was in a great 
measure dependent, had frequently shown his displea- 
sure at Hok-ha's continual absence at the Missionary 
services ; and on one occasion Hok-ha had to take 
refuge for more than a week in the house of one of 
the Missionaries from the harsh severity of his 
relative. He showed much gratitude, and was evi- 
dently attached to the Missionaries. He was in an 


interesting state of mind, and lived in the daily habit 
of prayer. Seven years ago his widowed mother 
purchased for him a wife, who had lived in the family 
ever since, and was now sixteen years old. His 
mother commanded her son to celebrate the nuptials, 
though he would himself have preferred waiting for 
two years, till his prospects were brighter, and he 
became more independent of his uncle. But as the 
old lady was anxious to establish the family, Hok-ha 
being her only son, her commands were peremptory, 
and obedient submission to her authoritative will 
became his only alternative. Under the circumstances 
of the bride being already an inmate of the family, 
there was no marriage -procession to conduct her to 
the house of her husband ; and there had been only 
the usual feast and nuptial ceremonies on the pre- 
ceding evening. 

We were ushered by the bridegroom up two or 
three flights of steps into his humble apartment, where 
we took our seats on a couch opposite a table covered 
with the remains of a feast. By the side of this table 
the bride stood, having her eyes cast toward the 
ground, and wrapt up in strict efforts to preserve 
propriety ; custom not permitting a bride to speak 
to a visitor till after three days, nor to go out, except 
to the house of her parents, till after thirty days. She 
was a very pretty, interesting girl, with a profusion of 
artificial flowers forming a tiara on her head, and 
with a handsome bright red bridal robe, her face 
being covered with pearl-dust, rather beyond the 
limits of European taste. At her husband's suggestion, 
she handed to us a plate of sweetmeats, from a drawer, 
of which we partook by way of compliment. She 

E E 2 


continued to stand during the whole of our visit. 
A glass mirror lay on a dressing-table close by, into 
which she directed an occasional glance, to assure 
her mind of her strict preservation of appearances. 
Although my companion once or twice addressed her, 
she strictly preserved silence. She appeared, how- 
ever, sometimes to experience difficulty in suppressing 
a simpering laugh, and to be in great danger of 
breaking through her affected seriousness. Hok-ha 
seemed greatly pleased with his bride. He had re- 
nounced idolatry ; and stated his determination to 
have no idols in his own part of the house. In proof 
of his sincerity, there were no idols, or other sym- 
bols of idolatry, in the room in which we were, and 
which was the only room exclusively belonging to 

Jan. 28th This being the second day of the new 
year, we formed a party of five Missionaries, in order 
to make a visit, and to pay our respects to the high 
Mandarins of the city. Entering the citadel, we soon 
approached the large open area, forming the entrance 
to the palace of the te-tok, or admiral. The first 
court into which we passed consisted of a large in- 
closed open space, with little outhouses or offices in a 
dilapidated state on either side. This was occupied 
for four or five days after the capture of Amoy by Sir 
Hugh Gough and the British troops, till their removal 
across to the island of Koo-lang-soo. The troops 
bivouacked in this open court ; but, on the first night, 
the buildings on the left were set on fire by the Chi- 
nese. The present te-tok, who also, during the Bri- 
tish war, was in power, and possessed the highest 
authority, naval and military, was opportunely absent 


from the scene of warlike operations. Shortly before 
the capture of the city, he went out to sea with his 
fleet of war-junks, ostensibly to meet the English ships 
and sink them on the wide deep ; but he contrived to 
miss the British fleet, and to escape the dreaded con- 
flict. When all the local authorities were cashiered 
and punished by the emperor for their pusillanimity 
in suffering the barbarians to capture the place, the 
te-tok, under these circumstances, received only a 
light punishment, being merely degraded three de- 
grees of rank. But on his memorializing the throne, 
and representing that his absence from the scene of 
war was more his misfortune than his fault, and was, 
moreover, occasioned by his courage and zeal in the 
public service, he was restored to all his forfeited 
honours. Recently, however, he had again been in- 
volved in trouble, by having recommended an unsuit- 
able candidate for military promotion to one of the 
national boards at Peking, -and had been stript of all 
the badges of his former rank, but not of the power or 
emoluments of office. We found, on inquiry from his 
secretary, that he was absent on some expedition 
along the coast, and would not return for six days. 
He was now absent probably in ider to avoid the 
mortification of being seen at this holiday season with- 
out the usual badges of his rank, or to endeavour by 
some signal service at sea to regain favour at Court, 
which his reported wealth was likely to insure at a 
very early period. His naval command extended 
along the coast of Fokeen and Chekeang. He had 
the character of being a confirmed opium-smoker, 
and had sometimes come fresh from the fumes, so as 
to talk rather wildly to the Missionaries amid the con- 


fused state of his brain, boasting of his recent exploits 
against the pirates, and of his having cut off a hundred 

Our second visit, a few days later, which, for the sake 
of convenience and connexion I here anticipate, was 
more successful. He received us with apparent cordia- 
lity. He was a decrepit old man of seventy years of age, 
without any of the usual ornaments of official rank, both 
he and his attendants being dressed in the plainest 
style, on account of his recent disgrace. He smoked 
tobacco incessantly, his conversation turning on his 
recent exploits in Chekeang, where he said that he 
had captured between thirty and forty pirates, and 
the same number also in the neighbouring district of 
Tung-hwa. He spoke of the pirates being at this 
time very numerous. He next directed the topic of 
conversation to the price of our furs and dresses. He 
told us that his own fur came from Russia, and was of a 
very rare kind ; acquainting us further with the price 
of the small piece of fur which faced his cuffs, which 
alone, he said, cost ten dollars. In reference to my 
intended voyage to England, he advised me to hasten 
my departure during the prevalence of the north 
winds, which he seemed to think would take me the 
whole voyage to Europe. It was currently rumoured 
in Amoy that he wanted to resign his command, and 
to retire to his native place in the south-western part 
of Canton province, but that he could not yet obtain 
permission to abandon his post. He received, with 
expressions of thankfulness, St. Luke's Gospel and a 
tract ; but appeared to possess very little intellectual 
capacity, being a very unfavourable specimen of a 
Chinese officer. 


Our next visit was to the cham-hoo, or military com- 
mandant, whose official residence was situated near 
that of the te-tok. He came into an outer court to 
meet us, shaking hands with us separately, and con- 
ducted us into a large inner hall. He wore a light 
blue knob on his cap, the badge of the third rank of 
military officers. He was the only resident officer of 
high rank, who was a native of the neighbourhood. 
He spoke the Tung-hwa variety of the local dialect, 
which enabled the Missionaries to converse freely 
with him without the necessity of an intervening in- 
terpreter. Of this they took full advantage, the cham- 
hoo himself being also very friendly and communi- 
cative. Finding that some of our number had been 
originally resident in Java, he inquired particularly 
about Calapa (Batavia) and the Chinese emigrants in 
that country. He requested information respecting 
the condition of the latter, and inquired whether they 
preserved their Chinese customs and dress. He also 
put several questions concerning the general character 
and policy of the Dutch Government towards the 
Chinese settlers. He then inquired about a teacher 
named Boone, formerly at Amoy ; and mentioned his 
having had some conversation respecting the United 
States with a Chinese, who had accompanied Dr. 
Boone from Amoy to America. He mentioned, also, 
the fact of his having been shown a Daguerreotype 
likeness, taken in America, and inquired whether the 
Missionaries had the apparatus for taking likenesses 
with such wonderful rapidity. He next wished to 
hear particulars about a nation of dwarfs, in America, 
of whom he had heard. An English Missionary pre- 
sent, Mr. Young, who, through advantages in early 


youth, now possessed a tolerably perfect knowledge of 
the spoken dialect, drew the conversation to the sub- 
ject of religion, and gave an outline of Christian 
doctrines. The cham-hoo, after listening for some 
minutes, replied, that their Chinese priests said almost 
the same things as the Missionaries preached; and 
that the religions of both Chinese and foreigners were 
nearly the same. This led to a renewed explanation 
of our doctrines on the part of the Missionary. The 
cham-hoo listened with politeness for a time ; but on 
the mention of the fall of man, and the depravity of 
human nature, he made violent objections to the doc- 
trine, asserting, with some degree of personal excite- 
ment, that his own heart was correct, and his moral 
disposition good. The Missionary renewed his sub- 
ject by the softening preface, u Let not your lordship 
be offended;" and proceeded to show that idolatry 
was sin, and a proof of the fall ; that the pity of God 
extended to this fallen world ; and that the mission 
and atonement of Jesus Christ were the divine remedy 
for the sins and sufferings of mankind. On this the 
cham-hoo asked who was Jesus a god or a man ? He 
afterwards contended, with some warmth, that the 
Chinese did not worship idols, but merely made 
images in remembrance of good men, whose example 
they wished to imitate. In the course of his remarks, 
he instanced Ma-tsoo-po, the great Fokeen goddess of 
sailors. In a subsequent part of their conversation, 
the Missionary asked him how it was that so many 
junks which carried her image, in order to consult 
the weather, and to obtain good luck, were lost at sea, 
goddess, crew, and all. He replied that none could 
resist " destiny " and the " decree of heaven ;" and 


that those who worshipped Jesus were also unable to 
avoid calamity. He at length turned the conversation 
to other subjects ; two of his attendants in the mean- 
while appearing to be differently affected by the con- 
versation, and slipping out of the .room to conceal 
their laughter. He promised to receive and peruse 
some of our Christian books, and complimented us on 
the excellence of our objects, saying that our religion 
was calculated to unite all nations in the bond of 
peace. After the usual supply of tea and sweetmeats 
had passed round, we took leave of him in the outer 
court, to which he accompanied us. 

Returning from the citadel into the outer city, 
we soon arrived at the residence of the prin- 
cipal civil Mandarin, the taou-tai, a Manchow Tar- 
tar, who was adorned with the insignia and opaque 
blue knob of the fourth rank. Our cards having 
been sent in, he speedily made his appearance 
at a flight of steps in the outer court ; and, after shak- 
ing hands, conducted us to an inner room, where he 
continued standing till we were all seated, and then 
himself occupied the lowest place. He lately served 
as che-foo in Szechuen province, and came to Amoy 
on his promotion. He made many inquiries about 
our respective countries, and seemed to be much im- 
pressed by the fact of our religion appearing to unite 
us in the bonds of fraternal affection, though we be- 
longed to different nations. He inquired the number 
of years that had elapsed since the separation of the 
United States from Britain, and expressed a wish to 
obtain some maps of foreign lands, with the names 
written in Chinese characters, which I subsequently 
sent him as a present. Finding that, of the seven Mis- 


sionaries now resident at Amoy, three were English, he 
remarked that we were better off than he was in this 
respect, as he had only one Manchow fellow-country- 
man, the hai-quan, besides himself at Amoy. He said 
that there were about thirty-four Manchows holding 
office in Fokeen province*, and also between four and 
five thousand Manchow soldiers. He made inquiries 
about Mr. Abeel, who, he said, had supplied him with 
Christian books three years ago. 

The hai-quan, or inspector of customs, a Manchow, 
whom we next visited, was absent from home ; but, in 
common with the rest of the Mandarins, sent his cards 
to each of us the next day, by way of returning our 

From this point we sailed in a boat to the suburb 
of Ha-mun-ka, to pay our respects to the hai-hong. 
He received us with the same condescension and kind- 
ness which we experienced on a former occasion, in- 
quiring our ages, and complimenting the medical 
Missionary present on the benevolence and skill of his 
profession. He remarked that he had never seen any 

* The Chinese at the present time frequently express dissatisfac- 
tion with the diminished amount of encouragement which literature 
receives in the promotion of officers on the claims of literary merit. 
Under the preceding native dynasty, they say that all political offices 
were conferred on the literary graduates ; but that under the present 
foreign dynasty, out of every ten offices of Government, about three 
are given to Manchows from birth, one to wealthy persons willing to 
purchase promotion by bribery, and only six to Chinese graduates, 
irrespectively of birth or wealth. The Manchow dynasty is thus 
gradually closing up the only safety-valve for the ambition of native 
patriots, and is exposed to serious danger from this outrage on public 


Roman-Catholic books, though that religious sect had 
been for a long time in the country. During our 
interview he voluntarily proposed that we should 
send him an assortment of our religious books, saying, 
that, after reading them himself, he would circulate 
them amongst his people. We left, amid the shrill 
notes of clarionets and pipes, and the rumbling mono- 
tonous sounds of a kind of bass instrument, which only 
gave one note throughout the tune to the other instru- 

The next day a package of Christian books was 
carefully selected, and forwarded to each of the Man- 
darins, who sent their cards to us in acknowledgment 
of the gift. The teacher who took the books, Tan 
seen-sang, was summoned into the presence of the 
cham-hoo, after the delivery of the books; and a 
series of questions was put to him respecting the 
nature of their contents, which, from his general 
acquaintance with Christian doctrines, he was well 
qualified to answer. He entered into the details of 
our religion, and explained the nature of our books, 
especially meeting the cham-hoo's objections as to the 
different style of Chinese composition observable in 
them. He drew his attention particularly to the fact of 
our Bible being translated from the original languages 
in which it was written, which would account for 
its apparent contrariety to the Chinese literary style. 
He explained that the tracts and books, written and 
composed by the Missionaries, were original produc- 
tions, and could therefore be more easily conformed to 
Chinese taste and style. The cham-hoo professed to 
enter into the distinction, as fully accounting for the 
difference of style ; and said much to the teacher on 


the good objects of the Missionaries, and the excel- 
lence of Christian doctrines. 

During the next few days I was engaged in accom- 
panying some of the Missionary brethren in their 
afternoon excursions among the people ; and the 
temples, the city ramparts, opium shops, and private 
houses, were in turn the scene of our visits. On one 
occasion we entered a Budhist nunnery, named Seen 
shan she, in which ten nuns and four senior abbesses 
resided. They brought us tea and sweetmeats, and 
afterwards presented some to the little crowd which 
followed us into the interior ; but the latter conside- 
rately declined receiving any, saying that the nuns 
would incur expense if so many received their kind- 
ness. Of the two abbesses, who waited on us, one 
was seventy and the other eighty years of age. The 
latter had been sold to the nunnery at the age of 
three years, where she had ever since lived. She 
was now toothless from age, but seemed to receive 
a larger measure of respect from the by-standers 
than was usually accorded to this class of females. 
The entrance had its newly-posted lucky sentences 
to the following effect " Shut out from the world ;" 
" Grandmothers in heart." In the temple in which 
we sat there were images of the three precious 
Budhs, on a raised platform, and of the original dis- 
ciples of Budh on either side, with every imaginable 
variety of expression depicted in their features. The 
two abbesses spoke of Mr. Abeel having been there in 
former times, and of his having given them some tracts, 
which they were able to read a rare case of even the 
lowest degree of mental culture being perceptible 
among women, and especially among priestesses. 


Among the various matters of business observable 
at this time of the new year, was the almost universal 
practice of changing some small bills on the front of 
the houses. These papers, on inquiry, were found to 
refer to that numerous portion of the inhabitants of 
Chinese cities the beggar population. The beggars 
at Amoy are enrolled by a system of laws and regu- 
lations, to which they are subject among themselves, 
and of which the law of the state also takes an indirect 
cognizance. A king of the beggars is duly elected 
from their number, who calls on each householder at 
the beginning of the year, and ascertains the monthly 
subscription which he is willing to give, in order to be 
free from the annoyance of their visits for alms, and 
the clatter of the sticks, by which they implore relief. 
For the sum of five or six hundred cash a month, he 
gives a red piece of paper inscribed with three copies 
of the characters for "great good luck," enclosed 
within an outline of a jar or vase. This is affixed to 
the door-post as a sign of immunity, and is renewed 
at the commencement of every year. Any beggar 
overlooking this bill of exemption, and entering a shop 
for relief, may be seized by the householder, and be 
beaten on the spot. The king, after giving a certain 
proportion to the Mandarins, and apportioning a cer- 
tain fund for the support of the incorporated society 
of beggars, contrives to appropriate the remainder to 
his own use, and to become a rich man. The beggars 
are covered with tattered rags, wear long dishevelled 
hair, and are not very particular in the mode of satis- 
fying their hunger. I observed one pass the shop of 
a confectioner, and stealthily slip a cake into his hand, 
and thence into his sleeve. One of the partners, who 


saw the theft, ran out and followed the thief, caught 
him by the hair, made him restore the cake from the 
folds of his sleeve, and then, by a species of lynch-law 
very common in a country where ordinary law is ex- 
pensive, and bribes must precede justice, gave the 
beggar a severe beating, and let him depart, amid the 
applause of the crowd, the good humour of the trades- 
man himself, and a remarkable nonchalance on the 
part of the offender. 





DURING my stay at Amoy I made many inquiries 
respecting the prevalence and effects of opium- 
smoking, and often visited, with a Missionary friend, 
some of the shops in which opium was sold. 

The first opium-house which we entered was situated 
close to the entrance to the taou-tai's palace. Four 
or five rooms, in different parts of a square court, were 
occupied by men stretched out on a rude kind of 
couch, on which lay a head-pillow, with lamps, pipes, 
and other apparatus for smoking opium. In one part 
of the principal room the proprietor stood, with deli- 
cate steel-yards, weighing out the prepared drug, 
which was of a dark, thick, semi-fluid consistency. A 
little company of opium-smokers, who had come hither 
to indulge in the expensive fumes, or to feast their 
eyes with the sight of that which increasing poverty 
had placed beyond their reach, soon gathered around 
us, and entered into conversation. Lim-pai, who 
accompanied us himself a reclaimed opium-smoker 


earnestly took part in the conversation with his 
countrymen. They formed a motley group of sallow 
sunken cheeks, and glassy watery eyes, as, with idiotic 
look and vacant laugh, they readily volunteered items 
of information, and described the process of their own 
degradation. There was to be seen the youth, who, 
just emerging from boyhood, had only commenced 
the practice a little time before, and was now hasten- 
ing to a premature old age. There was the man of 
middle age, who, for half his life a victim of this 
pernicious indulgence, was bearing with him to an 
early grave the wreck of his worn-out constitution. 
There was again the more elderly man, whose iron 
strength of frame could better ward off* the slow but 
certain advances of decrepitude, but whose bloated 
cheek and vacant stare told of the struggle that was 
raging within. There was again the rarely-seen spec- 
tacle of old age ; and the man of sixty lived yet to 
tell of forty years consumed in the seductions of this 
vice. They all assented to the evils and sufferings of 
their course, and professed a desire to be freed from 
its power. They all complained of loss of appetite 
of the agonizing cravings of the early morning of 
prostration of strength and of increasing feebleness ; 
but said that they could not gain firmness of resolution 
to overcome the habit. They all stated its intoxicating 
effects to be worse than those of drunkenness, and 
described the extreme dizziness and vomiting which 
ensued, so as to incapacitate them for exertion. The 
oldest man among their number, with a strange incon- 
sistency and candour, expatiated on the misery of his 
course. For three years he said he had abandoned 
the indulgence, at the period of Commissioner Lin's 


menacing edicts and compulsory prohibition of opium. 
At the conclusion of the British war, the foreign opium- 
ships came unmolested to Amoy : he had opened an 
opium shop for gain ; and soon he himself fell a victim. 
He enlarged on the evils of opium- smoking, which he 
asserted to be six. 1. Loss of appetite. 2. Loss of 
strength. 3. Loss of money. 4. Loss of time. 5. Loss 
of longevity. 6. Loss of virtue, leading to profligacy 
and gambling. He then spoke of the insidious ap- 
proaches of temptation, similar to those . of the 
drunkard's career. A man was sick, or had a cold : 
a friend recommended opium, and he fell into the 
snare. Or, again, some acquaintance would meet him, 
and press him, by urgent solicitations, to accompany' 
him to an opium-house. At first he would refuse to 
join in smoking; by degrees, however, his friends 
became cheerful ; their society was pleasant ; his 
scruples were derided; his objections speedily va- 
nished ; he partook of the luxury ; it soon became 
essential to his daily life ; and he found himself at 
length unable to overcome its allurements. 

Some of the Chinese present requested us to give 
them medicine to cure them of the habit : but my 
companion told them that the only medicine necessary 
was a firm heart, which God could give them ; and 
pointed them to Lim-pai, as an instance of the power 
of a virtuous resolution. The latter again entered on 
the subject, earnestly testifying his increased happi- 
ness and comfort since he abandoned the vice half a 
year ago. The oldest opium-smoker replied by ex- 
cusing himself of all moral guilt in the matter, and 
said that it was " heaven's decree " that he should be 
overcome by the vice, which he therefore could not 

F F 


escape. We left this establishment amid many in- 
quiries for medicine, in which the proprietor of the 
house joined. He appeared not to be in the least 
degree displeased at the freedom of our remarks on 
an indulgence which brought him his means of liveli- 
hood. On hearing that I was an English Missionary, 
they exposed the inconsistency of my rebuking their 
habit of smoking opium, while my countrymen brought 
them the means of indulging it. Most of them 
seemed to labour under the delusion that the Missio- 
naries were all Americans, and the opium-smugglers 
were ail Englishmen a mistake of which we of 
course took every means of disabusing their minds. 

I subsequently visited about thirty other opium- 
shops in different parts of the city. One of these 
opium- dens was a narrow, dark, and filthy hole, 
almost unfit for a human being to enter, and appro- 
priately joining a coffin-maker's shop. From the peo- 
ple we gained various particulars as to the nature and 
extent of the opium traffic. The large native whole- 
sale dealers were in the habit of strongly manning 
and arming a boat, in which they proceeded outside 
the boundaries of the port to the Six Islands. There 
the foreign opium-vessels lying at anchor were simi- 
larly armed and prepared for resistance, in the event 
of the Chinese authorities attempting to capture them. 
The native boats returned with the chests of opium 
to Amoy, and might be seen, with some European flag 
flying aloft, passing swiftly through the harbour, with 
sails set, and all the crew plying their oars. They 
always formed too strong a force to encourage the 
hope of successful pursuit, either by the pirates or by 
the Mandarins. The wholesale native smugglers then 


retail the opium-balls separately to the retail-dealers 
and proprietors of opium-shops. No secrecy is ob- 
served respecting this article of universal traffic. I 
have seen three consecutive houses, kept by opium- 
venders. The people say that there are nearly a 
thousand such establishments in Amoy. Public no- 
tices on the corners of streets frequently invited the 
attention of passers-by to opium " three winters old " 
sold in the opposite house. To the better class of 
these shops the servants of rich men might be seen 
resorting, in order to purchase the prepared drug, 
and to carry it in little boxes, or, if the quantity were 
moderate, on little bamboo leaves, to their master, for 
smoking at his own house. They all asserted that 
they paid no bribes to the Mandarins, saying that 
these also smoked opium, and, therefore, were pre- 
vented by shame from interfering with the people. 
They assented to the probability of bribes being paid 
to the native authorities by the large wholesale pur- 
chasers, who go outside the harbour to buy opium 
from the foreign ships. Among other proofs of 
the full cognizance of the local authorities, as well as 
of the very general prevalence of opium-smoking, 
may be mentioned the fact of persons being met with 
in almost every street, who gain their entire livelihood 
by manufacturing the bowls of opium pipes, which 
they publicly expose for sale in every direction. 

Wishing to obtain more accurate information and 
data on the physical and moral effects of opium than 
were to be gathered from a general recollection of the 
cases which I witnessed, I was afterwards accompanied 
by Mr. Pohlman, who kindly acted as interpreter, to 
ten opium-houses, in order that I might possess ten 

F F2 


consecutive cases of opium-smokers, and gain positive 
testimony from their own confessions on the subject. 
We generally took the first man in each house whom 
we beheld in the act of inhaling the fumes ; and the 
questions proposed were generally answered by the 
individual without any restraint or unwillingness. 
Sometimes his companions who might be present 
spoke also in confirmation of his statements. The 
simple evidence is recorded without lengthened com- 
ment, to enable the reader to form his own unbiassed 
opinion concerning the effects of opium. The writer 
has no object in view but truth, and a desire that the 
real state of the case, and the real effects of the sy- 
stem should be known, whatever the result may 
be, whether tending to augment or to moderate the 
general current of the feelings and views of the bene- 
volent portion of the public. He would merely 
premise, that the recorded cases are those of poor men 
frequenting houses of the lowest description, and not 
generally possessing the means of a very excessive 
indulgence ; and that the rich, who possess the power 
of gratifying to the full their propensity to opium, do 
not smoke the drug in these common establishments, 
but consume it in secrecy at their own homes. 

No. 1. Was that of a man thirty-nine years old, a 
mate on board a trading-junk from Teen-sing. He 
had smoked four years. He professed to have com- 
mended the practice from a disease in the heart, and 
to have found it beneficial as a relief from the pain. 
During the first two years he gradually increased 
the dose. During the last two years he smoked 
daily ten fun, or candareens, i. e. one tseen, or mace 
(equivalent to sixty grains, or one drachm) ; one 


half in the morning, and the other half in the 
evening. The indulgence cost him daily 190 cash 
(about eightpence) at the present rate of consump- 
tion. He had a wife and five children. Early in the 
morning, the craving desire for opium made him feel 
ill till he took his accustomed quantity. He testified 
to the diminution of his appetite and strength since 
he began the habit. He was apparently a man of 
very strong constitution and robust frame, and had 
hitherto suffered but little from the effects, although 
his countenance wore a bloated appearance. 

No. 2. Was forty-two years old, and had been fif- 
teen years an opium-smoker. He formerly smoked a 
mace, but now, from poverty, could only afford to 
smoke three candareens a day. He was a literary 
teacher by profession, but was in reduced circum- 
stances. He complained of decay of strength and 
loss of appetite. He professed to be gradually leaving 
off opium, under the compulsion of poverty ; but pain 
in the stomach furnished him with an excuse for taking 
an extra dose this afternoon. His hollow cheek and 
sallow countenance rendered him a wretched and 
pitiable-looking object. 

No. 3. Was twenty-five years old, and had smoked 
opium three years. He began the practice with two 
or three candareens daily, but, having gradually in- 
creased the dose, now smoked a mace. He com- 
plained of loss of appetite and decay of strength. He 
was formerly much stronger. He was the headman of 
a company of coolies. Out of between 200 and 300 
cash, his daily wages, he spent 190 cash in opium. 
His idiotic look and sunken eye made him appear a 
wretched object, overtaken in early youth by the 


decrepitude and infirmities of old age. The by- 
standers gave him the character of being exceedingly 
depraved, even in the Chinese estimate of morality. 

No. 4. Was fifty-one years old, and had smoked 
opium fifteen years. He was a sailor on board a 
trading-junk. He had been smoking more than a 
mace a day. He said that his appetite and strength 
were greatly diminished. He was formerly addicted 
to drunkenness ; but experienced the effects of opium 
to be much more destructive. Opium often made him 
ill. He often felt the desire to vomit, without the 
power of doing so. By the advice, and with the help 
of the keeper of the opium-house, he had been trying 
to reform, and for eight days had not smoked his usual 
dose. He was now eating a medicinal compound to cure 
the craving, and to enable him to break off the habit by 
degrees. This medicine was made of sugar, ginseng- 
root, and some opium-soot ; sugar, however, forming 
the principal ingredient. He confessed that he still 
smoked a little at night, and appeared so wedded to 
the vice, as to be almost an involuntary instrument in 
hastening on his premature destruction. 

No. 5. Was a deaf man, unable to catch a sound, 
and suspicious withal: a wretched object, of about 
forty years of age, in the greatest destitution, and with 
squalid appearance. He came to the shop to buy 
two candareens *of opium to smoke at his own house. 
The by-standers said that a person commencing to 
smoke opium would be intoxicated by two canda- 
reens, but that a much larger quantity is gradually 
required to produce this effect. 

No. 6. Was fifty years old, and had smoked opium 
fourteen years. He smoked a mace daily. He was 


engaged in smoking over again the soot of opium, 
scraped out from the bowl of his pipe. He said that 
his appetite and strength were greatly diminished. 
He was formerly an opium-house keeper, but failed 
in business. He now hired the house in which we 
were. In this wretched hovel he continued, on a 
small scale, his former business. His sons, who were 
farmers in the country, contributed to his support. 

No. 7. Was forty-three years old, and had smoked 
opium thirteen years. He was the proprietor of the 
establishment, being employed also as a secretary to 
some Mandarin. He had smoked from seven canda- 
reens to a mace daily. He spoke of his loss of appe- 
tite and strength. He stated that he was desirous of 
reforming, and anxious to know the means of re- 
formation. He had twice partially abandoned the in- 
dulgence, but his boon companions inveigled him 
back to the vice. He acknowledged that he was in 
better health during the period of his abstinence, and 
stated his conviction that, if he could even now 
abandon the seduction, he would regain much of his 
former strength. Previously to his former reforma- 
tions, he had eaten a medicinal preparation, consisting 
of two candareens of opium-soot mixed with arrack, 
sugar, and other ingredients, amounting to eight kinds 
in all. He assented to the folly and evil of his course. 
A partner in one of the opium establishments, how- 
ever, as he was weighing out the drug to his cus- 
tomers, once retorted to the remonstrances of my 
companion, by asking, " Why, then, do the foreign 
ships bring us the opium ? Go, rather, and prevail 
on your countrymen not to bring us opium." 

No. 8. Was thirty years old, and had smoked, for 


two years, three candareens a day ; one half in the 
morning, and the other half in the evening. He 
complained of loss of appetite and diminution of 
strength. He said that he desired to reform, but was 
unable to accomplish his desire, as abstinence, even 
for a day or two, produced great distress and pain in 
his limbs. He was a maker of bamboo chairs. He 
had a wife, but no children. (The by-standers all 
testified, on this and other occasions, that opium- 
smokers have few children.) His cheeks had a 
sallow, sunken appearance. He said that he was for- 
merly stout and robust, and that he had lost one half 
of his bodily weight. He persisted in this last state- 
ment amid the expression of our incredulity. 

No. 9. Was a boatman, fifty years old, and had 
smoked three candareens a day for above ten years. 
He complained of diminished appetite and strength, 
and had a vacant look and bloated countenance. 

No. 10. Was thirty-seven years old, and had smoked 
opium for thirteen years. His usual dose was one 
mace a day. He was a shoemaker, and had a wife 
and three children. He professed to be desirous of 
reforming, and took from his pocket a mixture of 
opium-soot and salt to cure the craving. Two days 
ago, having no money, he took no opium ; on the 
previous day he took half a dose : on this day he had 
taken no opium, but was in great suffering from 
nervous prostration. He said that he was formerly 
fat, healthy, and good looking. He had now a dread- 
fully bloated appearance, was very weak, and unable 
to eat his regular food. He wanted to know if there 
was any thing that could enable him to reform. He 
replied to the exhortations of my friend by shaking his 


head, and pointing to his breast and hard breathing. 
He proceeded to describe in detail, with accommodated 
gestures, the manner in which, when making shoes at 
his bench, if he had not the usual dose of opium, he fell 
away into a fainting fit. He stated that he was in 
the habit of propping up his strength by chewing a 
little of the mixture. It was affecting to listen to the 
description of his sufferings, and to behold the poor 
victim raising himself to a high degree of excitement, 
as he was describing the progress of his own misery. 
He said, that, without the usual dose of opium, he 
could not retain his food without vomiting. He 
earned 260 cash a-day, out of which he spent from 180 
to 220 cash in opium. His youngest son was born 
six years ago, since which time he had had no off- 
spring. He begged importunately for our help in 
supplying him with a remedy ; and listened, vacantly 
assenting, as Mr. Pohlman told him to pray for help, 
in breaking off his vice, to the Almighty. He said 
that three days ago he had worshipped the idol of 
Shang-te (literally, " Almighty," the name of one of 
their deities), on the birth-day of the god. He again 
proceeded to imitate by gestures the panting of the 
craving state, and complained of being in the midst of 
temptations to the indulgence. He gladly assented 
to Mr. Pohlman's proposal to come for five days to 
our house, where he should have his rice gratuitously 
supplied to him, that he might be placed beyond the 
influence of temptation, and be enabled to abstain 
from the indulgence. He seemed to be very earnest 
in the expression of his gratitude. Early the next 
morning he came to our house, professing his deter- 
mination to practise total abstinence, and apparently 


resolved on breaking off the vice. He conducted 
himself very well for several hours, but towards the 
close of the day became evidently uncomfortable and 
uneasy. He took his meals with the Chinese domes- 
tics in a room below, and then returned to the Mis- 
sionary's study. Here he soon after showed, by his 
conversation, the struggle with temptation that was 
pending within. He invented some excuses for going 
into the street; but as he had no money, his pretext 
for temporarily absenting himself from the house would 
not suffice his purpose. He now spoke of his family 
having no rice to eat, as he was not at home to earn 
any money for them. He asked for a few cash to buy 
a meal for them, which request was firmly refused, as 
we believed him to be merely seeking the means of 
satisfying an intense desire for opium, which he found 
himself too weak in purpose to resist. He continued 
some time longer with us in evident pain and suffer- 
ing, and at last, overcome by the agony of the craving 
state, disappeared into the streets. 








JAN. 30#A During my occasional visits on horseback 
to the villages scattered over the island, the subject 
of female infanticide was brought under my notice. 
The facts, with which I became acquainted at Amoy, 
produced in my mind a conviction that this social evil 
exists in the province of Fokeen to an extent which 
would be incredible, unless the fullest evidence were 
at hand to establish its truth. In the other parts of 
China which I visited, no well-authenticated cases 
were brought under my knowledge sufficient to 
prove that this crime prevailed to any considerable 
extent. In the vicinity of Shanghai and Ningpo, 
the moral atrocity, if perpetrated, lurks in secret, 
and is comparatively too rare an occurrence to 
be regarded as possessing the sanction of public 

On this day I was accompanied by the same kind 
friend, who was ever ready to place his valuable aid 


at my disposal, in visiting and gaining information 
from the people. We set out for some native villages 
on the opposite side of the island, and at an early hour 
of the day had passed through the suburb on the east 
of the city. Our course lay over an extensive mili- 
tary parade-ground, situated above the sea-battery. 
In one part there was a little tower, on the top of 
which the high military officers were accustomed to 
sit as judges of the skill of the troops in shooting 
arrows at a large target, which was placed against a 
pillar at a little distance. In another part of the 
ground there were some walls, with mounds of sand, 
at which the soldiers practised firing with bullets. At 
a little distance beyond, a line of massive fortifications 
skirted the beach for a mile, till, at the further end, 
bending to the north, it formed a junction with the 
lofty precipices, which constitute a mountain-barrier 
of natural defences to the city on its northern and 
eastern sides. Through this wall we passed under 
one of the gateways, by which the British troops had 
entered in their advance towards the city. The whole 
line of fortifications appeared to be in good repair, but 
to be entirely destitute of guns, both on the ramparts 
and on the watch-towers. 

After a ride of six miles, we entered a village 
named Hong-choo, where the people soon gathered 
around us, and my companion entered into conversa- 
tion with them. The subject was gradually and cau- 
tiously led to infanticide, on which they readily offered 
various items of statistical information. They asserted, 
without hesitation, that female infanticide was gene- 
rally practised amongst them ; and their statements 
were offered to us in a manner, which indicated the 


total absence of criminality from their views of the 
practice. They stated that poor persons generally 
put to death two female infants out of every four, im- 
mediately after birth ; but that rich persons, who 
could afford to rear their female offspring, were not 
in the habit of murdering their daughters. 

In the next village, about a mile distant, called 
Baw-a-aou, we remained for two or three hours among 
the people, who partook of the general friendly cha- 
racter of Chinese villagers. The whole village was 
inhabited by persons having the same surname ofLim, 
or Lin, who appeared to be united together by the 
ties of patriarchal law. This village clanship is a 
powerful bond of union, all the inhabitants regarding 
each other as heung-te, brethren or cousins. They 
have a common property in the wells and the temples 
within their boundaries, which form subjects of occa- 
sional dispute with the people of the next village. 
These quarrels sometimes are carried to such an 
extent that the belligerents on either side regularly 
muster their forces, and an appeal is made to physical 
violence ; the results of this village- warfare seldom, 
however, extending beyond broken heads and frac- 
tured limbs. They seemed to experience satisfaction 
in showing us the little temples and shrines, and espe- 
cially in conducting us to explore that most potent 
charm in the ancient associations and legends of the 
village the temple assigned to the sepulchral tablets 
of their common ancestors. The ancestral tablets of 
the original founders of the clan were duly arranged 
in three rows. In the principal hall, which opened 
into an adjoining square, there were about six tablets 
in all. The earliest were placed in the third rank 


behind, and professed to number ten generations ; the 
middle rank eleven ; and the fore rank twelve. The 
latest of these tablets were two or three hundred 
years old, since which time no addition had been 
made to their number. At the present time, even the 
oldest and most respected men of the village, after 
their death, merely had their tablets erected in the 
private dwellings of their own family. There was an 
immense vase for incense, with a lion carved on the 
top, and with incense-sticks on a table which stood 
before it. The people seemed to attach great sanctity 
to the tablets, and said that no amount of money could 
prevail on them to dispose of these emblems of ances- 
tral worth. 

We soon adjourned to another public room of the 
village, which was used as a school-house. The 
people were rather afraid of our horses ; and it was 
some time before we could prevail on the most cou- 
rageous of their number to get some fodder, and to 
undertake to hold them. We were then taken to 
some seats in the principal hall, at the other end of 
which some idols were standing on a little platform. 
About a hundred people were speedily collected around 
us, most of whom adopted various methods of showing 
civility. The horrible subject of infanticide was here 
also introduced. They confirmed the testimony of the 
people in the last village, that out of four daughters 
poor men generally murdered two, and sometimes 
even three. They stated that, in their own village, out 
of six daughters it was customary to kill three ; some 
murdered four, and a few even five out of the same 
number. They said that the proportion of female 
children which they put to death entirely depended 


on the poverty of the individual. They told us that 
the death of the infant was effected immediately after 
birth, and that four different modes of infanticide 
were practised amongst them ; viz. drowning in a 
vessel of water, pinching the throat, stifling by means 
of a wet cloth over the mouth, and choking by a few 
grains of rice placed into the mouth of the infant. 
If sons were alternately interspersed with daughters 
in a family, the people esteemed it good luck, and 
were not accustomed to murder the female children. 
We told them that many persons in our native lands 
were unwilling to believe that the Chinese were guilty 
of so cruel a practice. They all asserted that their 
statements were true ; but after this, as might have 
been expected, they individually showed reluctance 
in acknowledging that either themselves or their 
parents had been guilty of infanticide. Finding that 
we strongly condemned the custom, they were rather 
guarded in making any confessions of personal parti- 
cipation in the practice. 

At this time a man of the village, named Lin 
HeaoUy joined our party, and gave us an invitation to 
his house, which was a well-intended compliment, but 
which our knowledge of his deep poverty prevented 
our accepting, as we thought that he would be better 
pleased with our declining. The poor man had pre- 
viously become acquainted with my companion in a 
remarkable manner. The latter, while walking, a few 
days previously, near the city, with another Missionary, 
had met this villager with a fine healthy-looking child 
in his arms, and had commenced a conversation with 
him by expressing admiration of the child. The 
father, with a look indicating extreme wretchedness, 


shook his head, and said that he was the most unfor- 
tunate of human beings, as it was a, female child. On 
their making further inquiry, he informed them that he 
had had eight children, all daughters, of whom he had 
murdered five. The man now appeared before us, with 
the same child in his arms, and renewed his pitiable 
tale, which was confirmed, as a matter of perfect noto- 
riety, by the crowd around us. As he fondled the 
child in his arms, his manner indicated no deficiency 
in paternal affection towards his offspring. He dwelt, 
however, on the misery of his " fate," and described 
the process of his former infanticide, by placing the 
infants in a tub of water immediately after birth. 
Heaou was a small farmer or gardener, cultivating 
four little plots of ground. He had no son on whom 
to lean for support in his old age. He seemed deeply 
affected as he dwelt on his sorrows, esteeming himself 
the most ill-fated of men in having eight children, 
and no son among them. The people around, espe- 
cially the women, appeared to think light of the 
matter, and indulged in frequent humour and levity. 
The man himself said that he always had compunc- 
tions of grief for ten days after murdering a child ; and 
that both he and his wife wept very much at the time, 
and grieved at their misfortune in having female off- 

One old man, whom we questioned, confessed pub- 
licly before the crowd, that out of six daughters he 
had murdered three. At first, he said that he did not 
remember whether he had murdered two or three. 
He said that he smothered them by putting grass into 
their mouth ; and that he felt more peaceful and 
quiet in his mind under the disgrace which he 


suffered, when he had thus put his female offspring 
out of the way. Both he and his wife wept very 
much, but felt no compunctions of conscience at 
the deed. He replied to Mr. Pohlman's remon- 
strances by saying that he would admonish all his 
daughters-in-law in future to preserve their female 

A former patient of the Medical Missionary Hospital 
now joined us, named Lingnew, who had had a tumour, 
weighing nearly two pounds, removed by a surgical 
operation from his neck, and had his life thus pro- 
longed by foreign benevolence and skill. We ac- 
cepted his invitation to take a meal, which was, in 
the course of half an hour, set out for us in the pub- 
lic hall. My companion told the crowd that it was 
the custom of Christians to thank God for His daily 
mercies, and to ask a blessing before a meal ; and 
requested them to preserve silence, while I invoked 
the Divine blessing on ourselves and the poor de- 
luded heathen by whom we were surrounded. They 
remained in deep and attentive silence during the 
time. We were supplied with wooden chop-sticks, 
and we took our dinner from dishes of purely Chinese 
composition, consisting of boiled rice, ducks' eggs, 
arid a boiled mixture of cabbage, oysters, and vermi- 
celli. A handkerchief served as a table-cloth, and our 
host brought each of us a basin of water to wash our 
hands after the repast. We offered some money in 
return for the meal ; but both Lin gnew, and the 
neighbours who stood around us, stoutly refused to 
accept any payment, and waved their hands at the 
unreasonableness of our proposal. He afterwards ac- 
cepted Mr. Pohlman's invitation to return our visit on 

G G 


the following Sabbath, in order to be present at 
our religious worship, and to hear the Missionaries 
preach about Jesus Christ. This engagement he ac- 
cordingly fulfilled on the next Sunday, accompanied 
by two of his neighbours, all dressed out in their 
best holiday clothes. Respecting the population of 
their village, they could give us no definite in- 
formation, except the fact that it contained one 
hundred and eighty family messes, which they said 
would probably make it amount to one thousand 

On our return we put similar questions concerning 
infanticide to the villagers at Chan-chew-hwa, and inva- 
riably obtained, in reply, a confirmation of the previous 
information supplied to us respecting its general 
prevalence. The average number of females put to 
death in the several villages was generally stated to 
amount to the proportion of one-half. While we were 
questioning one old man, the crowd, unable to com- 
prehend the drift or object of our inquiries, were 
greatly amused, and indulged in a little pleasantry, 
saying that we were fortune-tellers, and were going 
to tell the old man's fate. They afterwards be- 
came more reserved in their communications, sus- 
pecting that we were employed as spies by the 
Mandarins. They soon, however, resumed their 
friendly and communicative manner ; and as we 
prepared to take our departure, they urged us to 
remain to partake of food, and to hold conversation 
with them. 

The same confessions as to the proportion of female 
infants murdered after birth were made in another 
village named O-ne ; but none of the inhabitants 


were willing to confess that they themselves had per- 
petrated infanticide, though they testified to its uni- 
versal prevalence around them. 

The same facts were corroborated by the evidence 
of several Chinese in the city,* the inhabitants of 
which, though not so universally given to the practice 
as the villagers, were by no means free from the evil. 
Some respectable natives spoke of its prevalence, not 
only in the villages, but also in the city, to an awful 
extent, even saying that one-half of the female infants 
of the poor within the city were put to death by their 
inhuman parents. The real cause of this horrible 
custom is to be found, partly in the extreme poverty 
of the people, and partly in the unenlightened state 
of their conscience, which fails to realize the flagrant 
enormity of a social crime, with which their minds 
have been long familiarized, and by which their moral 
perceptions have become blunted. 

* I was furnished with the following fact by Captain Collinson, 
R.N. C.B. of the "Plover" sloop-of-war, recently engaged in the survey 
of the Coast of China, who has kindly given me his authority for 
its publication. On a little point of shore, near the city of Tung- 
shan, on the coast of Fokeen, about half way between Amoy and 
Namoa, a Chinese boat, with two men and three women, approached 
that part of the beach in which some of his party were engaged in 
their surveying operations. The Chinese brought with them four 
infants, and proceeded to dig two pits in the sand, in which they 
were about to bury the four infants alive, till a sailor and a boy, 
assisting Captain Collinson (who was at some little distance), suc- 
ceeded in driving them away from the spot. Captain Collinson 
watched the Chinese with his telescope, as they proceeded with the 
infants around a headland to some other point, where they would be 
free from interruption in their work of cruelty. 



The dreadful effects on society of this evil are obvious 
to every visitor of the rural hamlets, where the most 
cursory investigation reveals the small proportion of 
female inhabitants. The more disastrous consequences 
of female infanticide, and of the paucity of women 
occasioned thereby, may easily be imagined ; but 
their recital cannot be permitted to offend the eye of 
the reader. 

It is easy to account for the prevalence of this idea 
of misfortune and calamity in having female children, 
and being without sons. The explanation is found in 
the following facts. 1. Sons are the support and com- 
fort of their parents in adversity and old age. A Chi- 
nese, whose sons are in prosperous circumstances, gene- 
rally ceases from labouring for his subsistence after he 
has attained the age of fifty, the sons contributing to 
support their parent in honourable ease. 2. Daughters, 
at the age of sixteen, are generally married into 
another family ; on which occasion, however, a sum of 
money is paid to the parents by the husband, virtually 
as a matter of purchase, but ostensibly for the purpose 
of refunding the expense of a wife's support from 
infancy. 3. Daughters, when married, are no longer 
considered as a part of the family, and assume their 
husband's surname ; so that they are frequently omitted 
by parents in the enumeration of their children, 
and are merely regarded as secondary relations. 
4. Daughters afford no hope of preserving the family- 
name of the father, and of performing the funeral 
rites and other sacrificial offerings to the spirits 
of their ancestors. 5. The general degradation 
and comparative uselessness of females are con- 
sidered as offering no adequate compensation for 


the expense of their nurture and support. The 
poor villager, who had eight daughters and no 
sons, might naturally, in such a state of public opi- 
nion, deem himself very unfortunate, in the absence 
of a belief in the wisdom and goodness of a directing 




FEB. 2d. This being the first Monday in the month, 
the monthly Missionary meeting, which had been 
established in the previous month, was held for the 
benefit of the Chinese Catechumens. The six Missio- 
naries, their native teachers and domestics, with a 
few neighbours, amounting altogether to about thirty 
persons, assembled in the house of one of the Missio- 
naries. The Missionary who presided commenced 
the proceedings with a prayer in Chinese, and then 
made a few remarks, intended as a comment on a 
portion of Scripture, Acts xiii. 42 to end. Tan seen- 
sang then read from a MS., which had been carefully 
prepared with the previous help of one of the Missio- 
naries, a statement of the character and objects of their 
assembling together. Some maps, and representa- 
tions of the sun, moon, and planets, were hung upon the 
wall, or lay on the table, to which continual reference 
was made. His range of topics embraced, l.The object 


of this Missionary meeting ; 2. The time and circum- 
stances of its institution ; 3. A brief historical sketch 
of Protestant Missions in China. The object of the 
meeting he stated to be the offering up of prayer for 
their own conversion, and that of the whole world. 
In reference to the time of its institution, he said, that 
about sixty years ago some Christians in England, 
deeply impressed with the importance of propagating 
the Gospel of Jesus Christ, met together, and agreed 
to set apart the first Monday in every month for 
prayer for the Divine blessing on the Missionary work. 
This monthly meeting had since been generally 
adopted among Christians in England and America. 
Till the present time the Chinese had been without 
the privilege of this Missionary meeting. But the 
Gospel everywhere possessed the same value and 
importance. The Chinese could only obtain salvation 
in the same way as the people of other nations. On 
this account the Missionary meeting was now esta- 
blished also at Amoy. In reference to past Missionary 
efforts among the Chinese, he asserted that it was not 
because the doctrines of Jesus were not equally 
necessary for the Chinese that they had not been 
diffused abroad throughout China, but because the 
Missionaries had been so few in number. Formerly, 
the Emperor and the Mandarins forbade Missionaries 
from entering the Central Kingdom. In 1807, A.D. 
Morrison came to Canton, and was obliged to live in 
privacy to avoid observation ; while Amoy, Foo-chow, 
Ningpo, Chusan, and Shanghai, were shut out from 
the light. But now, relying upon the aid of the 
Almighty and the Spirit of Jesus, the Missionaries 
had been during four years promulgating the truths 


of Christianity; and they cherished the hope, that 
the doctrines of the Gospel would continue to be more 
widely diffused, till all mankind should hear, repent, 
believe, and be saved. 

A prayer was then offered by another Missionary, 
in Chinese, after which Lin seen-sang read a paper 
previously composed, on the spread of the Gospel by 
Missionary operations in the islands of the South Sea. 
He described the former condition of the inhabitants, 
who were idolaters, infanticides, murderers, and 
licentious ; and contrasted with their former state 
their present altered character as a Christian people, 
their holy indignation at idol-worship, and their rapid 
growth in civilization. Many anecdotes and facts, 
illustrative of their former and present state, were 
extracted and translated for the occasion from the 
published account of the lamented Williams. 

Tan seen-sang again read a paper, containing a 
lecture on the Missionary map of the world, which 
was exposed to their view, and frequently offered 
some comments of his own in the colloquial style. He 
first drew attention to the spherical form of the earth, 
of which the mechanical representation of the solar 
system, lying on a table, enabled them to form a tole- 
rably correct idea. Then followed a description of 
the four great divisions of the earth, and of the prin- 
cipal nations in each, in reference to their size, popu- 
lation, and religion. Then followed more minute 
details of the religious systems professed by each. 
He then proceeded to state that the Bible declared 
that all these false religions were to be abolished, and 
that every knee would bow and confess Jesus to be 
the true Saviour, the Lord of all. For the consum- 


mation of this great end, Christ had commanded His 
disciples to go into the whole world, and preach the 
Gospel to every creature. In accordance with this 
command, Missionaries had gone out from Christian 
lands into almost every part of the world ; and for 
four years past had been labouring in Amoy. But 
the labours of Missionaries were confined to the five 
free ports of China, and they were prevented from 
going into the interior of the country. He then 
dwelt on his own obligation, and that of his country- 
men who were present, to receive the Gospel, and to 
carry it into every part of the interior, until the 
400 millions who use the Chinese written character 
(i.e. China and its dependencies, Corea, Japan, Cochin- 
China, &c.), should all be converted to Christianity. 
The meeting was closed with a prayer in Chinese, by 
another of the Missionary brethren. 

Feb. IQth On this day the feast of lanterns was 
celebrated, which is the termination of the new-year 
holidays. Previously to our going into the streets, to 
view the long row of illuminated shops and dwellings, 
a rustic, from the opposite mainland of Lam-tai-boo, 
paid Mr. Pohlman a visit, having received an invita- 
tion some weeks before in his native village. Some 
idols, and among them those of the three precious 
Budhs, which I had collected as specimens, were lying 
in that part of the room in which he was seated. 
Fearing that he would throw them down, I requested 
him to take care not to break them. He mistook my 
meaning, and immediately proceeded to worship them 
most reverently, bowing his head and folding hands to 
each of the idols, till roused to a sense of his folly by 
the laughter of the Chinese who were present. The 


poor man appeared somewhat surprised and asto- 
nished at the levity of his countrymen ; but his 
enthusiasm for idolatry had evidently received an un- 
expected shock, for he soon joined in the laughter 

Towards sunset we explored the various streets and 
places of public resort, amid a continual discharge of 
fireworks, the frequent assemblage of play-actors, the 
noise of gambling-tables, the universal signs of feasting 
in the families, and a profuse display of lanterns of 
every imaginable pattern and design. Some were 
made of glass, others of glue, and some of paper, in 
the shape of birds, beasts, fishes, and dragons ; or so 
arranged as to be carried round by a constant current 
of rarefied air, and representing different kinds of ani- 
mals and junks in motion. In all the principal tem- 
ples, and in the houses of rich men, huge candles were 
to be seen, some of which were two feet in circum- 
ference. Bands of pipers, with sounds of gongs and 
cymbals, were to be heard in all directions. The 
principal table in each temple was covered with 
large cakes, made in the form of a tortoise, the sacred 
symbol of Budhist mythology. The burghers of each 
of the eighteen wards of the city levied a contribution 
of money, to defray the expenses of fire-works in their 
respective districts, and vied with each other in im- 
parting a grandeur of scale and an imposing effect to 
the occasion. Rich men also defrayed, from their perso- 
nal resources, the expense of some pyrotechnic design, 
which was exhibited in the vicinity of their own dwell- 
ings. We entered the south gate of the citadel too late 
to see a large firework, representing a lion, which had 
been just discharged before the admiral's palace ; and 


were only in time to meet the crowds moving off to 
the scene of the next similar display. After retracing 
our steps from the military parade-ground, abutting 
on the eastern wall, we passed through the western 
gate into the outer city. On our way we came to seve- 
ral immense bonfires, the flames of which rose several 
feet in height. The crowd were eagerly engaged in 
leaping across the fire, in order to obtain the benefit 
of good luck, amid the sound of gongs and the 
plaudits of the people. We were attracted, by sounds 
of music, to an open space in front of a neighbouring 
temple, where there were several other such heaps of 
wood, coal, and other materials, ready to be lighted. 
Here the crowd rapidly increased, being from time to 
time joined by a procession of additional pipers, with 
lofty poles hung round with flaming crackers. Here 
the usual signs of feasting and merriment were to be 
seen. In a gallery erected near the temple, some 
Chinese ladies were sitting, to view the pageantry and 
fireworks below. Some idols, and the usual apparatus 
of incense and offerings, lay on a table in the open 
space of ground. We sat for several minutes on this 
table, till at length two chairs were brought to us 
through the crowd from some adjoining houses, and 
we were politely invited to sit on them. We were 
about to decline the civility, and to keep our former 
seat, till a Chinese acquaintance whispered to us that 
we had better accept the offer, as perhaps the feelings 
of his countrymen would be shocked at our sitting on 
the idol-table. The crowd then formed a little circle 
around us, and listened to my companion, as he ex- 
plained to them the object of Missionaries in coming 
to China, and the nature of their message to the souls 


of the Chinese. A few of the more ignorant, finding 
that we were professedly devout men, wanted us to 
salute and worship the idols. This of course drew on 
them the remonstrance of the Missionary, and the 
laughter of some of their own countrymen, who had 
previously become acquainted with the objections of 
Christians to idol-worship. Soon afterwards we were 
joined by another Missionary and his wife, the former 
of whom delivered an address to a few tens of people 
who were collected around us. The Missionary's wife 
made her way to a part of the temple, where the 
women were separated off within an enclosure. As 
soon as they discovered her, they at first affected to 
be afraid ; but afterwards, on her addressing them in 
the local dialect of Amoy, they became very friendly, 
and she remained for some time among them. 

We proceeded from this spot about half a mile, to 
another open space before a temple. A number of 
persons conducted us on our way, and continued to 
ask many questions during the time. Here the same 
array of lanterns and crowds of people were again to 
be seen. Preparations were soon observed for dis- 
charging a large firework, which formed a giant speci- 
men of pyrotechnic skill. A long pole was erected, fifty 
feet in height, hung round with cases of rockets and 
other combustibles. On its being lighted at the bot- 
tom, there was a rapid succession of squibs, roman- 
candles, guns, and rockets, which illuminated the sky 
to a great distance with their igneous masses. After 
this minor display, a house suddenly dropped with its 
inmates from one of the arms of the pole. The sur- 
rounding fireworks, far and near, were so arranged as 
to pour in their shot and completely riddle the house. 


A volley of lesser combustibles suddenly terminated 
in a beautiful cluster of grapes, which lasted for some 
time, and shed a deep blue light on the houses and 
walls for some distance around. A shower of golden 
rain was shortly after followed by an umbrella of fire, 
which suddenly flew open, amid the loud cheers of the 
spectators. Soon after, a human figure was impe- 
tuously carried round in a circular motion, and re- 
ceived the discharge of the surrounding crackers. An 
oblique shower of gold and silver rain followed ; after 
which some rockets pursued their flaming track along 
the air, in a horizontal direction. These were suc- 
ceeded by rockets shot perpendicularly to a great 
height. The display occupied a quarter of an hour, 
and was concluded amid the boisterous plaudits of old 
and young. 

A general movement now took place among the 
crowd to the temple which we had first visited ; and 
we moved thither ourselves, in the hope of seeing a 
celebrated lion-firework, of an expensive kind. But 
as we afterwards discovered that it was not to be dis- 
charged till after midnight in the third watch, and 
the crowd was also gradually reinforced in large 
numbers from the other wards, we deemed it advisa- 
ble to retrace our steps, and arrived at our residence 
at 11 P.M. In the streets through which we passed, 
every temple was gaudily illuminated, and the ser- 
vices of the priests, both of the Taou and the Budhist 
sects, appeared to be in high request. In some parts 
a phantasmagoria was exhibited, in which acting 
figures were represented by means of a magic lantern, 
on a transparent substance resembling tissue paper. 
The actions of the figures, even to the motion of the 


hand and the nod of the head, were accommodated 
to the speeches delivered by a concealed spokesman, 
who directed the whole apparatus behind the scene. 
In one street a theatrical stage, with its players acting 
some scene of imperial grandeur, crossed our way ; 
and we had no alternative but that of creeping on our 
hands and knees, for a distance of twenty yards, on the 
pavement under the stage to the other end. Here 
several friendly hands were held out to assist us in 
regaining our erect position. 

After this national feast of lanterns, the ordinary 
business of the people, which, since the first day of the 
new year, had only been partially resumed, now 
recommenced in earnest. The penalties against gam- 
bling thus far relaxed, either by law or by that which 
in China is equivalent, the prescriptive right of cus- 
tom, were now supposed to regain their force ; and 
the idol crowds of pleasure-hunters heartily re- 
engaged in the bustle and toil of daily business with 
renewed energy and industry. From this time the 
idle show of pageantry terminated, and every thing 
wore the absorbing appearance of gain and com- 

Feb. llth At the close of a religious service, held 
by the Missionaries, two questions were submitted for 
discussion, in reference to the putting away of idols 
and ancestral tablets from the house of every candi- 
date for Christian baptism ; viz. 

1. Could an open renunciation of idol- worship, 
although the idols remained in the house out of com- 
pliance with the superstitious fears of relatives, be 
deemed a sufficient test of Christian sincerity ? 

2. How far was retaining the ancestral tablets per- 


missible, as mere tokens of respect for the departed 
dead, without any worship being offered? 

In regard to the first question, it was the unanimous 
opinion of the Missionaries, that wherever the convert 
had authority in a household, it must be made a sine 
qua non that idol-worship not only be renounced, but 
that the emblems of idolatry be destroyed or expelled 
from the house. 

One of the two old men who were about to re- 
ceive baptism, although the head of a family, was 
virtually destitute of his proper authority, from the 
wickedness of his adopted son, and the assumption of 
his sister-in-law and other relatives. He had, there- 
fore, decided on leaving the house which they occu- 
pied in common, and removing, with his wife and 
children, to another house, where he would have the 
power of abolishing idols. This was deemed sufficient. 

In regard to the second question there was more 
difficulty, although on this also there was unanimity of 
opinion, in making it incumbent on every candidate 
for baptism, not only to renounce the worship of the 
ancestral tablet, but also to remove it out of sight, and 
away from its usual place of juxta-position with the 

The following facts will afford help to the reader 
in understanding this subject. Popular superstition 
assigns three souls to each person ; one of which, at 
death, passes into the world of spirits. The second 
dwells at the tomb of the deceased, into which, as its 
new abode, it is formally inducted at the funeral, by 
the ceremony of drawing some little ribbons, or a 
flag, at the end of a stick. The third is supposed to 


occupy the ancestral tablet. This consists of an 
erect wooden plane, about twelve inches in height, 
fixed on a stand, and ornamentally inscribed with 
the names and date of the deceased. It is carefully 
treasured in some common temple of ancestors, in 
those cases in which a family possesses sufficient 
wealth to have such a temple, or in the family-dwell- 
ing, in the case of poorer families. In the latter case 
it is placed in juxta-position with the household gods, 
and receives the offerings of incense, eatables, gilt- 
paper money, and miniature garments, in common 
with the idols. One of the first acts of promoted 
scholars is to revisit these symbols of ancestral worth, 
and to adore the spirits of the departed dead. The 
worship of the ancestral tablet is the only custom of a 
strictly religious kind universally observed by the 
literary, as well as by the uneducated portion of the 
community. It forms also one of the most formidable 
barriers to the progress of the Missionary work. The 
Jesuits foresaw this difficulty in former times, and en- 
deavoured to render the transition from Confucianism 
to Christianity as easy as possible, by tolerating the 
adoration of these tablets as a purely civil rite, desti- 
tute of religious meaning. The Dominican and Fran- 
ciscan Missionaries, who subsequently arrived from 
Rome, exposed the flagrant inconsistency of amalga- 
mating Paganism with Christianity. The flame of 
discord raged so fiercely for nearly a century, between 
the rival sects of Popish Missionaries in China, that 
successive legates were sent from Rome to allay their 
feuds, and mediate between the conflicting parties. 
One Pope reversed the decrees of his predecessor ; and 


his bulls were again, in turn, stultified by his successor. 
At last the influence of the Jesuits at the Papal court 
failed to avert the unfavourable decision of the Pontiff. 
They now excited the emperor Kang-he to resent the 
supposed interference of the Pope with his own impe- 
rial authority in the government of China. All the 
Romish Missionaries, who would not sanction the re- 
tention of the ancestral tablet, were ordered to quit 
the country. The Papal legate was insulted and im- 
prisoned. The Jesuits were his appointed keepers at 
Macao : and as long as the name of Cardinal de Tour- 
non stands on the page of history, so long will the un- 
paralleled dissensions of the Romish Missionaries in 
China belie the pretensions, and expose the theory, of 
a visible unity of the universal church centering in a 
sovereign Pontiff enthroned on the Seven Hills. Kang- 
he's successor, Yung-ching, who commenced his reign 
A.D. 1722, deemed it expedient to terminate these 
dissensions by banishing all the sects of Romanist 
Missionaries alike. Thus, after nearly a century of 
religious feuds, they were expelled from the scenes of 
their former influence and power : and the native 
flocks of Roman-Catholic converts have since been 
sustained by European Missionaries entering the 
country in disguise. 

The propriety of permitting the retention of ances- 
tral tablets, as mere memorials of the dead, was, on 
this occasion, decided against, for the following reasons. 

1. Even among the old Romish Missionaries only 
the Jesuits would allow the worship of the tablet to 
be retained as a mere civil rite. 

2. The Chinese pay to the tablet more reverence 
and worship than to the idol. 

3. Its retention would open a door for the too easy 

H H 


admission of converts, and the admixture of pagan 
superstitions with Christian doctrines. 

4. Its retention would also afford an occasion to the 
heathen Chinese of taunting the converts with insin- 
cerity, their usual weapon of offence. 

5. The Chinese, after hearing the declarations of 
Missionaries on the sin of idolatry, frequently ask 
questions respecting the lawfulness of worshipping 
ancestral tablets, as if a close connexion bound the 
two acts together in their mind. 

6. The unsparing denunciations of the Old Testa- 
ment against every species of idolatry the breaking of 
idolatrous relics in pieces the destruction of the very 
trees of the groves the beating to powder of the ma- 
terials desecrated by idol-worship allow no compro- 
mise with this superstition, which of all others is most 
firmly enthroned in the national mind the demono- 
latry of ancestors. 

Neither of the two old men adverted to are placed 
in any difficulty in the matter of the tablets, as Amoy 
is not their native place, and the ancestral tablets are, 
therefore, in the keeping of other relatives at a 

Sunday, Feb. 15th One of my Missionary friends 
held his usual Sabbath-evening meeting, for family 
worship and examination of his Chinese neighbours 
and domestics in the subjects of instruction, which 
they had heard at the Mission chapels and the hospital 
during the day. Only four persons attended, which 
was about half the number usually present. The 
object of the meeting was, to exercise their minds, by 
friendly conversation, on the religious topics brought 
before them in the different Missionary sermons, and 
to invite them freely to state their difficulties and ob- 


jections. In order to give an idea of the character of 
the Missionary addresses of the nature of the Scrip- 
tural subjects discussed of the capacity of the Chi- 
nese for religious instruction and of the beneficial 
influence likely to be exerted over them by such 
friendly and familiar intercourse a short sketch is 
given of the proceedings on the occasion of this even- 
ing's family service. After a short address, the Mis- 
sionary who conducted the meeting requested a youth, 
named Ek-ha, a servant in his house, to explain the 
subjects which he had heard in asermon at nine A.M. 
In reply, he proceeded to give an analysis of the dis- 
course, which was in form, and often in words, strictly 
accurate. The text was, " Behold the Lamb of God, 
which taketh away the sins of the world." He said, 
that the preacher's address referred, I. To the reasons 
why our Saviour is called a lamb. 1. On account of 
His meekness and submission ; 2. on account of His 
purity ; and 3. on account of his becoming a ransom 
for sin ; more particularly stating the method of the 
Old-Testament sacrifices for sin, all of which had 
reference to the one great sacrifice of Jesus on the 
cross. He said that the preacher adverted, II. To the 
duty of mankind in beholding the Lamb of God. This 
was illustrated by the figure of a feast, with a table 
spread out and bountifully provided with food. The 
guests are invited to come : they look, but this does 
not satisfy ; they must partake. So Christ must be 
received by faith ; He must not only be looked upon, 
but be received into the heart, and believed on to the 
salvation of the soul. This was stated with much 
readiness and ease of manner. 

The others afterwards volunteered their simple ex- 



planation of what they had heard, evidently interested 
in the subject, and sometimes correcting each other 
without the slightest embarrassment. Chan-ha, an 
adult servant, gave an account of a sermon which 
he had heard at 10 A.M., on the subject of regene- 
ration, founded on the coming of Nicodemus to 
Jesus by night. Ching-han, also, a medical student, 
explained his recollections of the same sermon ; each 
of them alternating their description of the doctrines 
which they had heard. They stated that the condi- 
tion of the soul before conversion was that of death ; 
and that the change of the soul on its conversion re- 
sembled that of a new birth. They then referred to 
the illustrations of the preacher taken from the birth 
of an infant ; its new sensations, breathing, pulse, and 
the great care of the parent. They then dwelt on the 
more marked character of these evidences of life in a 
new-born soul, which undergoes so radical a change in 
its affections- and desires. One of them said, in reply 
to the questions of the Missionary, that conversion of 
the soul was a gradual change. His views were cor- 
rected, and the distinction was explained to him 
between the terms justification and sanctification ; 
the former being the forgiveness of sin by God, as the 
immediate consequence of a living faith in Christ; 
the latter being a gradual and progressive renevval 
of the heart by divine grace. 

They afterwards gave an account of a sermon which 
they had heard at 3 P.M. from Luke xii. 15 21, on 
the parable of the rich fool. Particular allusion was 
made to that portion of it, which stated a man's life 
not to "consist in the abundance of the things which 
he possesseth." Life denoted happiness ; and true 


happiness was not to be found in wealth. They were 
asked if perfect happiness were to be found in this 
world. Chan-ha said, that happiness was progres- 
sive, and that a Christian's happiness would be com- 
plete in heaven, volunteering an illustration of his 
own from the literary degrees, and comparing earthly 
happiness to the degrees of sew-tsai and keu-jin, and 
the happiness of heaven to the higher degree of 

Hok-ha, the rope-maker, on being questioned, re- 
plied, with a sorrowful look, that he had not attended 
any religious service during the day. He feelingly 
alluded to his uncle's persecution, and the taunts of 
his neighbours concerning his connexion with foreign- 
ers. His uncle threatened him with discharge from 
his employment unless he worked during the whole 
Sabbath, and desisted from attending the Missionary 
services. The neighbours said that he preferred the 
foreigners to the Chinese, and that he was a secret 
informer to the strangers. He was exhorted by the 
Missionary to lay his troubles before his heavenly 
Father; but he continued to dwell on the conse- 
quences to himself, as well as to his mother and his 
wife, of disobedience to his uncle's commands. He 
was much excited, but gradually grew calm under 
the kind advice and solace which he received. He 
said that he hoped sometimes that he loved Jesus: he 
often prayed to Him ; but he felt that he was not 
prepared for heaven, because he had not received the 
" new heart." 

A suitable prayer closed the meeting, the Chinese 
all kneeling. 




FEB. 19th A new translation, or rather a revision of 
former translations, of the Holy Scriptures into Chi- 
nese, occupied, at this time, a considerable share of 
attention. The whole of the Chinese version of the 
New Testament had been divided into a certain num- 
ber of parts, which were assigned for revision to the 
Missionaries at the various Stations in China. The 
Gospel of St. Mark, and the Epistles of St. Paul to 
the Corinthians, were apportioned to the Missionaries 
at Amoy. The revised translation made at each Mis- 
sionary Station was to be sent around to the Missio- 
naries at the other Stations, for their approval or cor- 
rection. The revised translation of the whole New 
Testament, with the suggested corrections of the Mis- 
sionaries at the various Stations, were to be sent to 
some place of general meeting, probably Hong Kong ; 


where delegates, one from each Station, would be 
entrusted with the important task of final revision. 
The translation ultimately agreed upon was to be 
considered a standard edition, possessing the general 
sanction of the whole body of Protestant Missionaries 
in China.* 

On this and the following days I was 'present at the 
local Committee of Translation, from half-past eleven 
A. M. to one P. M. The three most experienced Mis- 
sionaries were present, with their Chinese teachers, 
one of whom was a literary graduate. A few old men 
from among the regular attendants on divine worship 
were also generally present, and sometimes entered 
into conversation, when any topics of discussion arose. 
After prayer for the help of the Holy Spirit on the 
work of making known the word of God in the 
Chinese tongue, the work of revision commenced at 
1 Cor. iii. 5., about twelve verses being accomplished 
on each day. The original Greek text was first con- 
sulted, and rendered into its close and literal meaning. 
Medhurst's Chinese version was then read aloud ; 
and being considered, on the whole, as the best of the 
previous translations, was made the ground-work of 
the new undertaking. Reference was afterwards made 
to Morrison's Chinese version, and occasionally, also, 

* The Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society have 
given, in their Report for 1844, a detailed statement on the subject 
of this revision: see pp. cviii. cxi. On receiving the intelli- 
gence of the probable termination of the revision about the month of 
June 1847, they have more recently made a grant of ,1000 towards 
a cylinder press, an additional quantity of Chinese type, and the other 
expenses consequent on printing the revised version of the Chinese 
Scriptures: see Report for 1847, p. ex. 


to that of Gutzlaff, both versions being read aloud 
when there was any important variation. The Mis- 
sionaries, after discussing the passage amongst them- 
selves, and conveying orally the meaning of the sacred 
text to the Chinese teachers, proceeded to receive the 
opinion of the latter on its idiomatic expression in the 
written language. On such occasions, it was some- 
times painful to me to witness the manner in which 
Morrison's renderings were criticised by the Chinese, 
the most ridiculous misconceptions being conveyed to 
their minds by the literal and unidiomatic character 
of that version. Medhurst's version appeared to be a 
more free translation than that of Morrison, being 
sometimes paraphrastic, but generally idiomatic. It 
was esteemed by the natives present as greatly supe- 
rior, in its style of Chinese composition, to the other 
versions extant. Gutzlaff's version was considered an 
approximation to that of Medhurst, on which it was 
intended, however, to be an improvement, by being 
more literal. The teachers generally shook their 
heads as the last two versions were read, and appeared 
almost invariably to prefer that of Medhurst, in which, 
however, some emendations and corrections were oc- 
casionally made. These were noted down by the 
teachers, and a fair copy was afterwards made out, at 
their leisure, of the renderings, as finally approved and 
adopted by consent of the whole party. 

In the evening all the Missionaries proceeded in 
company to the te-tok's palace within the citadel, 
where the five high Mandarins of Amoy jointly gave 
a special entertainment to the Missionary body. 

Hoo Chun, a tax-gatherer, who also acted in the 
capacity of confidential agent to the Mandarins, paid 


us two or three previous visits, in order to arrange 
the day and hour according to our mutual conve- 
nience, and also to ascertain our wishes in regard to 
the detailed arrangements of the entertainment. One 
argument which he employed to induce us to accept 
the invitation was, that our minds should not be 
shocked by any impropriety or excess ; and that, if we 
wished it, no wine should be placed on the table. 
Hoo Chun made one of these visits as we were sitting 
down to dinner, and accepted our invitation to par- 
take of the meal. According to our usual custom, 
after grace was said, each of us repeated a text of 
Scripture. At the close of this, Hoo Chun, evidently 
understanding the nature of our words, unexpectedly 
closed his hands, and in a low voice offered up the 
simple words, To seay Shang-te, " Many thanks, Al- 
mighty." In the course of subsequent conversation, 
he frequently expressed a hope that the Missionaries 
would make him acquainted with any request or 
favour which they might wish to obtain from the 
authorities, as he would manage the matter for them. 
At 5 P.M. we passed within the city gate, and 
soon arrived at the entrance of the palace, where Hoo 
Chun and another officer met us, and ushered us into 
a waiting-room. Here we had to wait a few minutes, 
while Hoo Chun prepared our Chinese cards, which 
we had forgotten to bring with us. They were very 
particular in observing these little matters of etiquette, 
before our arrival was announced to the great men. 
Soon after we were conducted in due state through 
the great central folding- doors, which were thrown 
open for us to enter. We passed onward, between two 
lines of attendants, and through a succession of courts 


and folding-doors, to a flight of steps, at the top of 
which four of the Mandarins came out to offer us their 
greetings, which latter ceremony they generally per- 
formed with both hands. The arrangements for 
placing us in the most honourable seats occupied 
about five minutes ; at the end of which, the loud 
discharge of three guns, and the sonorous cries of 
attendants clearing the way, announced the approach 
of His Excellency the taou-tai. He soon after arrived 
in his sedan at the outer flight of steps, with a com- 
pany of guards and attendants, carrying red umbrellas 
and the usual insignia of office. All the four officials 
went out to receive him as he alighted, and escorted 
him into the reception-hall, where he came and shook 
hands with us all round. The same ceremony and 
etiquette was observed among themselves about the 
honourable seats, till at last each took his place- ac- 
cording to his official precedence. They were all 
attired in costly sable furs, and wore a knob on their 
caps, and various embroidered badges on their bosom, 
indicative of their respective ranks. The te-tok and 
hai-hong alone wore a peacock's feather, which is a 
kind of honorary decoration, resembling the Order of 
the Bath. The te-tok had been recently restored to 
his honours, and now wore a red knob or button on 
his cap, as a military officer of the first class. Great 
attention was paid by the rest to the two Manchow 
officers, especially to the taou-tai, who alone, with the 
admiral, enjoys the title of tajin, or " His Excellency ;" 
the others being styled ta laou-yay, or " His Lordship." 
After some conversation among themselves about the 
south-west wind and the weather, tea and pipes were 
brought in, and each was soon on familiar terms with 


his neighbour. My seat was next to that of the taou- 
tai, who took the opportunity of thanking me for a 
recent present of maps. The tables were soon after 
arranged for the reception of the materials of a feast. 
When the announcement was made that every thing 
was ready, we had to spend another period of five 
minutes in arranging our seats, till at last we resigned 
ourselves to the disposal of our hosts, which had 
the effect of shortening the time of our standing. Two 
English Missionaries were placed as a president and 
a vice-president at each end of the table, the rest 
of the foreign guests occupying the seats immediately 
on the right and left of the president and the vice- 
president. Our hosts themselves took the interme- 
diate places in the centre of the table, which are 
esteemed by the Chinese the lowest seats in their 
guest-chambers. The middle of the table contained 
little heaps of cakes, pickles, preserved fruits, and 
sweetmeats. Some chop-sticks were placed before us, 
together with European spoons, knives, and forks, 
which they had borrowed for the occasion. Our little 
bowls and saucers were frequently changed, as stews 
and soups of birds'-nests, pork, fish, sharks'-fins, ducks, 
and marrow-bones, were served in rapid succession. 
Then followed roasted pigs, and a substantial joint of 
mutton, which they had provided lest we should be 
unable to make a meal of their Chinese and Manchow 
dishes. When we relaxed our endeavours to do 
honour to their hospitality, they would unceremo- 
niously dip their chop-sticks, just issuing from their 
own mouths, into one of the dishes, and plentifully 
help us with the contents into our basins. After 
about twenty dishes, the serving of which lasted nearly 


two hours, rice was placed before us, as a signal that 
the festivities were nearly at an end. They frequently 
drank a small cup of fermented beverage made from 
rice, with which they repeatedly challenged each 
other. On each occasion, after swallowing the whole 
contents, they presented the cup in an inverted posi- 
tion, to show that they had duly honoured the chal- 
lenge. Small glasses of port wine were placed before 
ourselves, which some of our number, being rigid 
professors of the principles of total abstinence, omitted 
to drink. This led to our hosts making several in- 
quiries ; and, in explanation, they were informed of the 
origin of Temperance Societies. In reply to their 
questions, it was stated that total abstinence from 
wine was not deemed an essential point of our reli- 
gion, but that each Christian judged for himself in the 
matter, carefully guarding against excess and abuse of 
God's blessings. Hereupon the Mandarins exchanged 
some sly looks among themselves, and amused each 
other with some jokes at the expense of the Budhist 
priests, who, they said, were very strict in abstaining 
from flesh and wine during the day, but sometimes 
contrived to overcome their scruples on these points 
during the night. 

The dishes were soon cleared away, and the red 
varnished tables were wiped with some paper nap- 
kins of the same kind as those placed for our own 
use. Their necklaces with their aromatic scent, 
which had been laid aside during the meal, were now 
brought and replaced over their necks by some 
attendants, about one hundred of whom stood around 
us. The cham-hoo, being the only officer who under- 
stood the local dialect, bore a principal part in the 


conversation, and generally interpreted to the others ; 
our friend Chun hoo standing by, and sometimes 
volunteering to offer some remarks. The te-tok 
ordered his English barometer, which he had pur- 
chased from a Chinese at a high price, to be placed 
on the table before him ; and he now seemed greatly 
annoyed at its supposed failure, as it had not pre- 
dicted the change of wind which took place during 
the day. The same functionary expatiated on the 
dangers of the sea, to which the wife of one of the 
Missionaries present was exposed in her voyage to 
Europe, in ill health ; among which he mentioned 
the existence of ice-bergs, some of which he had 
seen in his cruises off the northern coast of China. 
Concerning the cause of ice-bergs, he advanced some 
strange theories, and stated that he was of opinion 
that they were nothing else than frozen masses of sea- 
water, and that the waves, when dashing aloft in a 
storm, were suddenly frozen into a heap ! The hai- 
quan also wished to show us his incipient knowledge of 
English, by trying to pronounce our English numerals 
up to ten. He asked several questions about Russia, 
France, England, and America, especially inquiring 
whether the English and Americans had the same 
written character as well as the same spoken lan- 
guage. He also wished to know whether the English 
could speak the Mongol-Tartar language, or v the 
Russian language ; the latter question being probably 
suggested by his recollections of the Russian linguists 
at Peking. Tea and tobacco were again brought, and 
we were soon enveloped in clouds of smoke. They 
all evinced great refinement and politeness of manner 
towards each other, and appeared to be on terms of 


friendly cordiality among themselves. As they per- 
formed their civilities towards each other, the thought, 
however, would intrude itself on our minds of the 
hollow insincerity and duplicity which lurked beneath 
the surface of their polite manners and friendly 
bearing. Each lived on the proceeds of extortion 
practised on the people ; while each, again, had to 
disgorge a portion of his ill-acquired gain to his 
superior officer. The taou-tai, a Manchow, was 
stationed at Amoy, principally as a spy on the pro- 
ceedings of the other officers, and as a check against 
the influence of those of purely Chinese descent. He 
had scarcely any duties to perform, but reaped a rich 
revenue from his connivance at the extortions of the 
subordinate authorities. It was currently reported 
among the Chinese at Amoy that he annually received 
from the hai-hong, as a douceur, more than double 
the salary received from the Government by the 
latter. The mode by which this additional sum is 
realized receives a ready explanation from the 
generally prevalent practice of bribery and sale of 

We took our departure amid many compliments 
and apologies ; some of them expressing regret that 
they should have given us such a paltry entertain- 
ment, and stating their fear that we had eaten nothing. 
They accompanied us to the outer court, where the 
attendants supplied each of us with a flaming flam- 
beau, by the blazing glare of which we passed through 
the streets to our home. Ponies, strangely capari- 
soned with trappings and bells, were waiting for the 
officials in the outer court of the palace. The taou- 
tai immediately followed as soon as we had left, as 


the three guns and the pipings of musicians quickly 
informed our ears. The people in the adjoining 
streets gazed on us as we came forth from the pre- 
cincts of the palace, and were apparently astonished 
by this discovery of the new inroads of foreign 
influence on the policy of their rulers. The attentions 
which we received were of the most marked character; 
no Europeans ever having received similar honour, 
who, like ourselves, were not indebted for the dis- 
tinction to the fact of their filling official appoint- 
ments under the British Government. The principal 
motive which prompted these attentions was doubtless 
a desire to confer a testimonial of respect on the Mis- 
sionaries, although selfish motives may have exerted 
their influence in the matter. 

In a country like China, where foreigners have in 
past times been systematically depreciated by the 
ruling authorities, these marks of official respect are 
calculated to exert a favourable influence on the 
popular disposition towards Missionaries, and to 
disarm the native mind of any latent fears of perse- 
cution by their rulers, on professing themselves con- 
verts to the religion of Western nations. 





THE city of Hea-mun, or, as it is commonly called by 
foreigners, from a corruption of the final nasal sound 
of the local dialect, Amoy, is situated in latitude N. 
24 32', and in longitude 118 6' E. Even under the old 
system of intercourse with China, Amoy was better 
known to Europeans than most cities on the coast. 
This circumstance arose partly from the attempt made 
in former times, by the East-India Company, to open 
a trade with the people ; but principally from the 
enterprising spirit of the people themselves, which led 
them to settle, for the purposes of commerce, in the 
various countries and islands bordering on the China 
Sea. At so early a period as A.D. 1676, a ship was 
despatched from England to Amoy, with the object of 
establishing a factory. This attempt was successful ; 
but the trade was afterwards interrupted by the civil 
wars which raged in China. In 1680 the Tartars 


expelled the Chinese from Amoy, and destroyed the 
factory of the Company. In 1684 the Tartar gene- 
ral, who commanded the district, permitted the fac- 
tory to be re-established. In the following year the 
Company's residents at Amoy declared, in an official 
report, that, " having had five months' experience of 
the nature and quality of these people, they could 
characterize them no otherwise than as devils in 
men's shapes ;" and they further stated, " that to 
remain exposed to the rapaciousness of the avaricious 
governors was considered as more detrimental than 
the trade would be beneficial."* The factory was, 
however, continued, till an imperial edict, which 
limited the foreign trade to Canton, compelled the 
Company's officers to withdraw. 

The commercial enterprise of the people is to be 
seen in the fact, that Amoy, though possessing only an 
estimated population of about 150,000, has three times 
as large a number of trading junks as the important 
capital of the province itself. The people emigrate 
in large numbers to Borneo, Siam, Singapore, Ma- 
lacca, Batavia, Samarang, and other places in Java ; to 
which parts they resort in the hope of realizing for- 
tunes by commerce, and returning to enjoy the fruits 
of their industry in their native land. The few who 
return are generally poor, and excessively vitiated in 
morals. Their turbulent conduct is often a source of 
difficulty to the local government ; and, as subjects of 
Missionary instruction, they have been generally found 
to be far less hopeful than those who have never emi- 
grated. A considerable trade exists between Amoy 

* Milburn's Oriental Commerce. London, 1813. 
I I 


and the island of Formosa, from which junks arrive 
with cargoes of rice, sugar, oil, and groundnuts. From 
Shanghai and Ningpo there is an import trade of 
cotton, vermicelli, furs, and felt-caps. From Foo- 
chow the coasting-junks bring spars and oranges. 
Canton supplies cloth, camlet, shoes, and fine manu- 
factures. From the Straits of Malacca there is a 
large importation of grain, beche-le-mer, Brazil-wood, 
and a kind of hard wood for making masts and 
anchors. In return for these articles, the people of 
Amoy export large quantities of tea, bricks, shoes, 
umbrellas, crockery-ware, iron utensils, and, lastly, 
idols. During the past year five European or Ameri- 
can vessels have left Amoy with Chinese emigrants, as 
passengers to the Straits of Malacca. In each vessel 
there were between one and two hundred natives, 
each of whom paid a fare of ten or twelve dollars. 
They are generally huddled together on the deck, 
and, unless the vessel makes a rapid passage, have to 
suffer great privations. The difficulty of obtaining a 
livelihood renders the people willing thus to venture 
on the unknown trials of foreign lands. The poor, 
who thus emigrate to other countries, generally find 
that their hopes are disappointed, and are stated, by the 
Missionaries in those parts, to be the most degraded 
part of the population. A partial exception exists at 
Batavia, where there are several wealthy Chinese, two 
or three of whom ride in fine carriages, after Euro- 
pean style. 

The island of Amoy extends about twelve miles in 
length and ten in breadth. It contains one hundred 
and thirty-six villages and hamlets ; the population of 
the whole island amounting to about 400,000, less than 


one-half of whom are included in the city. Its geo- 
logical formation consists of one continued ridge of 
black granite rocks, which, when recently broken, pre- 
sent a light grey colour ; but after being exposed for 
some time to the atmosphere and rains, resume their 
original black appearance. Like a stupendous citadel 
of natural formation, a range of towering cliffs, varying 
in height, extends over the whole island, leaving, for 
the work of tillage, portions of low undulating ground, 
between their base and the sea. On the top of the 
ridge there are two or three miles of highly cultivated 
table-land. In the northern and eastern parts of the 
island a few miles of level sandy soil intervene be- 
tween the hills and the beach, and yield a supply of 
rice, wheat, and vegetables. 

The city of Amoy is built in a long straggling form, 
and occupies a promontory, so as to be surrounded 
on three sides by the sea. The city proper, or cita- 
del, is of small extent, being surrounded by a wall 
less than a mile in circuit, through which there are 
four gates leading into the outer city. Very little 
commerce is transacted within the city proper, the 
te-tok's palace and gardens occupying a considerable 
space, and abutting on the wall, so as to interrupt the 
visitor in his walk around the citadel. The streets of 
Amoy are very narrow and dirty, and the houses, with 
few exceptions, are of the poorest description. A few 
buildings with decent exterior occasionally relieve 
the general appearance of poverty. 

Among the temples there are some remarkable 
buildings. The collection of temples situated on the 
hill commonly called the " White Stag Hill" deserves 
particular mention. They consist of a cluster of 

i i 2 


buildings perched on overhanging rocks, and present, 
from the summit, a most romantic view of the city 
and its busy population, at the distance of a mile. 
Some of the inscriptions on the temple walls, in this 
beautiful retreat, are of more than ordinary interest. 
A tablet, inscribed with the sentence, " The practice 
of virtue is the principal thing," is soon after suc- 
ceeded by another, containing the announcement, " If 
men will pray to heaven's supreme Ruler, there will 
ensue peace, rest, and happiness." 

Another interesting temple lies close to the foot of 
the hills, in the higher part of the long plain on the 
southern beach. Being situated only half a mile 
above the long line of fortifications forming the sea- 
battery, this temple was exposed to much danger 
from the fire of the British vessels-of-war. One 
large cannon-ball is in the possession of the priests, 
being preserved and exhibited to the visitor as a 
proof of the sanctity and power of the idol. The 
walls of the building were perforated, and other 
serious damage was inflicted by the ball, which, 
however, they assert, was miraculously arrested in 
its career of destruction, so as to stop at the foot 
of the idol. 

The city contains but few individuals of great 
wealth, notwithstanding the commerce of the place. 
This is accounted for by the fact, that Amoy is only of 
small importance as a city, being included in the 
boundaries of Tung-hwa heen, on the mainland, one 
of the districts in the department of Ch wan-chew foo. 
Amoy is a mere outport to the more important cities 
of Chang-chew and Chwan-chew, in which the native 
merchants, who have been enriched by successful 


commerce/ live in the enjoyment of the refinements 
and luxury of wealth. Amoy bears the same relation 
to Chang-chew, which Shanghai bears to, Soo-chow ; 
and the Chinese diplomatists would gladly have 
limited the whole proceedings of foreign commerce 
to cities of this order, so as to exclude Europeans 
from the real abodes of wealth and manufacturing in- 
dustry. This may account for the strong objections, 
which are said to have been urged by the Chinese 
plenipotentiaries, against the opening of Foo-chow, 
the capital of the province, to the trade of the British. 

The boundaries, beyond which foreigners are pre- 
vented from extending their visits, have been fixed by 
arrangements with the acting consuls, at the distance 
of a "day's journey." On this term a very strict con- 
struction has been placed, so as to prohibit any 
foreigners from going more than half-a day's journey 
from the city, and to compel their return to Amoy 
before sunset. As the day is interpreted as com- 
mencing with sunrise and ending at sunset, and as a 
visit in a boat to the opposite mainland would ordi- 
narily consume the greater part of a forenoon, it will 
be seen that this regulation virtually limits foreigners 
to the island of Amoy, even in the villages of which 
they are not allowed to pass a night, but are under 
the necessity of returning before sunset to the city. 

The Roman Catholics are numerous in some dis- 
tricts of the neighbouring mainland. 

The French ambassador and suite, during their 
recent visit to Amoy, visited a village about forty 
miles distant, in which nearly the whole population 
were Roman Catholics. His Excellency afterwards 
spoke of his heart being kindled with the fire of 


religious enthusiasm, as he beheld the joyous spec- 
tacle of the inhabitants coming forth with crosses and 
medals hanging on their bosoms. About 500 persons 
in this village, and the same number in some neigh- 
bouring villages, professed Christianity. The priest, 
a Spaniard, named Francisco Zea, openly performed 
his ministrations among them, attired in Chinese 
costume. At the period of the visit of the French, a 
chapel, estimated to cost 1800 dollars, was advancing 
towards a state of completion. It was built of brick, 
partly in European and partly in Chinese style, and 
was ninety feet in length by forty in breadth. The 
interior was adorned by two rows of pillars, and the 
arrangements of the altar were adapted to the strictest 
models of Popish architecture. The French plenipo- 
tentiary contributed a sum of money towards its erec- 
tion. The perfect notoriety, among the Mandarins, of 
the priest's residence and employments was esta- 
blished beyond a doubt. 

During the period of my residence at Amoy, the 
intelligence arrived of another explanatory edict of 
religious toleration having been issued by the Chinese 
Government. In this document a full recognition 
was contained of the equal privileges of foreigners of 
all countries ; and free toleration was conferred on all 
the religions of Western nations, without partiality or 
distinction. The second edict, which apparently 
limited the toleration of the " religion of the Lord of 
Heaven" to the professors of the Roman-Catholic 
religion, had a short time previously been made a 
subject of diplomatic correspondence with Ke-Ying by 
the British Governor of Hong Kong ; who, with com- 
mendable decision, extorted from the former a recog- 


nition of the equal toleration of the Protestant and 
Roman-Catholic religions. A promise was made that 
this public document should be extensively circulated 
by the Chinese authorities among the people at each 
of the five consular ports. Although some weeks had 
elapsed, for a time only one copy of the document 
was discovered at Amoy. After a few days, how- 
ever, a second copy was also observed on some remote 
suburban wall ; while at the usual places for placard- 
ing Government notifications, viz. at the gates of the 
city, not a single copy was to be seen. 

Although the population of Amoy are generally of 
the poorest class, and fewer external signs of wealth 
meet the eye than in any of the other newly-opened 
cities of China, there are not wanting those literary 
institutions which are designed to impart a stimulus 
to native scholarship. As Amoy is not included in 
either of the three regular classes of cities, no literary 
degrees are conferred on the spot. There are, how- 
ever, about 200 sew-tsai in the place, some of whom 
have purchased their degree. The candidates for 
literary distinction have to go for examination from 
Amoy to the city of Chwan-chew, which is the head 
of the department. As it has been already intimated, 
the examinations for the higher degree of keu-jin 
are only held at Foo-chow, the capital of the province. 
Of the estimated number of seventy keu-jin in the 
whole department of Chwan-chew, only three belong 
to Amoy ; while of the higher degree of tsin-sze, 
there is not one graduate among the natives of the 
city. Several scholars are said to attend the exami- 
nations at Chwan-chew, who have little prospect of 
obtaining a degree, but who are encouraged by the 


hope of gaining a pecuniary reward for their composi- 
tion. In Amoy itself there are forty prizes, of about 
four dollars each, annually distributed among the 
resident scholars for the best literary disquisitions on 
a given subject. Both the sew-tsai graduates and the 
undergraduates are permitted to compete for these 
rewards. The prizes, however, are divided into two 
classes ; equal sums of money being given to the first 
ten sew-tsai and to the first ten undergraduates in 
the scale of merit under each respective division. A 
prize of secondary value is reserved also for the ten 
individuals, who respectively occupy the next place of 
merit in each class of candidates. One thousand can- 
didates are said generally to attend these annual 
examinations. An impulse is thus given to the 
industry of the lowest scholars, a large number of 
whom can be easily obtained as teachers for little 
more than half the monthly sum payable in the other 
consular cities. But the Missionaries find that really 
efficient teachers, deeply versed in the Chinese 
classics, and willing to bestow diligent attention on 
their foreign pupils, are not to be obtained without 
much difficulty. 

The local dialect of Amoy, or, more strictly 
speaking, that of Chang-chew, is the dialect which was 
principally studied, in former times, by the Missio- 
naries among the Chinese emigrants in Singapore and 
Batavia, and was commonly termed the Fokeen 
dialect. This term has sometimes produced a mis- 
apprehension as to its prevalence throughout the 
whole province. The author has met natives of 
Foo-chow, the capital of Fokeen, who were unable to 
exchange a single sentence, in the Amoy dialect, with 


a Missionary who had a perfect knowledge of the 
dialect of the latter place. 

The preceding statements will have been sufficient 
to convey to the reader a general impression of the 
character of this Missionary field, of the results of 
present operations, arid of the mingled difficulties 
and encouragements in the path of labour. The 
facts already recorded will suggest a tolerably correct 
idea of the friendliness of disposition, the strict sub- 
jection to recognised principles of national law, the 
close bonds of family union, the thrifty industry, and 
the enlightened common sense, which generally cha- 
racterize this portion of a race of people, whom we 
have been too willing, in former times, on the one 
hand, to regard as semi-barbarous ; and whose civili- 
zation and refinement we have been too much dis- 
posed, on the other hand, to commend and exaggerate. 
But if we were to stop at this point of the narrative, 
and to content ourselves with this superficial view, we 
should be induced to form too favourable a judgment 
of their real social condition. Facts of daily occur- 
rence, brought to the knowledge of the Missionaries, 
and frequently gained through the medium of the 
Missionary Hospital, revealed the prevalence of the 
most fearful immoralities among the people, and 
furnished a melancholy insight into the desolating 
horrors of paganism. Female infanticide openly 
confessed, legalized by custom, and divested of dis- 
grace by its frequency ; the scarcity of females leading, 
as a consequence, to a variety of crimes, habitually 
staining the domestic hearth ; the dreadful prevalence 
of all the vices charged by the Apostle Paul upon 
the ancient heathen world ; the alarming extent of 


opium-indulgence, destroying the productiveness and 
natural resources of the people ; the universal practice 
of lying and suspicion of dishonesty between man and 
man ; the unblushing lewdness of old and young ; the 
full unchecked torrent of human depravity, borne 
along in its impetuous channel, and inundating the 
social system with the overflowings of ungodliness ; 
prove the existence of a kind and a degree of moral 
degradation among the people, of which an excessive 
statement can scarcely be made, and of which an 
adequate conception can rarely be formed. Such is 
the moral and social condition of a population, among 
whom the banner of the Gospel has at length been 
unfurled, and to whom its life-giving truths are now, 
in humble faith, proclaimed. 

There are only a few peculiar features in the cha- 
racter of this Missionary Station, and of these a brief 
recapitulatory sketch is here subjoined. Amoy is the 
least important of all the ports of China open to 
foreigners, in respect of size, population, and the class 
of its inhabitants. It labours, also, under the disad- 
vantage of having but a limited intercourse with other 
provinces, and of being, therefore, unlikely hereafter 
to exert any considerable influence on the inhabitants 
of the interior in the diffusion of Christian truth. 
The lamented diminution in the members of the Mis- 
sionary families by death, or removal to a more genial 
clime, suggests also the fear of its being less salu- 
brious than the more northerly ports. On the other 
hand, however, Amoy is in advance of every other 
Missionary Station along the coast, in the extraordi- 
nary friendliness of the people, the marked attentions 
and favour of the authorities, and the popularity and 


moral influence acquired by the Missionaries. Much 
of this is doubtless to be ascribed to the longer period 
of time during which Missionaries have been resident 
in Amoy, and to the daily intercourse held with all 
classes of the people for the purpose of oral instruc- 
tion, without the distracting care of educational insti- 
tutions. Although matters are progressing towards 
the same favourable result at the other Stations, yet, 
at the present time, we look in vain elsewhere in 
China for those decisive indications, which have been 
enumerated, of a good impression already produced on 
the native community. 

May the fertilizing showers of the Divine blessing 
descend on the seed thus sown in hope ; and may the 
further and more satisfactory results of real conver- 
sion of heart to the Gospel speedily follow in the 
track of the general moral effects already produced ! 





ON Feb. 22d, being the last Sabbath of my residence 
at Amoy, I attended the various Missionary services ; 
and was requested, at the close of the sermon at the 
American Mission chapel, to address a few words to 
the people in the Court dialect. I informed them of 
the circumstances which caused me to return to my 
native land, and of the probable arrival of other Mis- 
sionaries in my place ; concluding with the inquiry, 
whether the prospect of new labourers coming to re- 
inforce the Missionary body afforded them pleasure. 
One of the teachers interpreted my parting words, 
with long comments, in the local dialect, to the people 
standing around ; fifty of whom were soon collected 
about the pulpit, where they remained for another half 
hour, offering their farewell greetings, and shaking 
hands. As they did not seem disposed to separate, the 
Missionary who had been preaching proceeded to 


hold a dialogue with some of their number. Some of 
them hazarded illustrations of their own on the sub- 
jects which they had heard in the sermon. On being 
asked whether they would welcome among them any 
additional Missionaries, and would rejoice at their ar- 
rival, they all replied, " Yes." On being again asked 
why they wished Missionaries to come among them, 
some said, " Because you love us ;" others said, " Be- 
cause you talk so kindly with us." The Missionary 
then reminded them of the consequences of slighting 
the message of the Gospel, and of the possibility of all 
the Missionaries being removed from among them, as 
a punishment of their spiritual indifference. Another 
shaking of hands took place as I left the building^ 
some of my more intimate acquaintances asking at 
what hour on the next morning I expected to take my 
departure, and expressing their wish to do me the ho- 
nour of accompanying me a little distance on my way. 
Accordingly, early the next morning six teachers 
and neighbours came to the house, waiting for my 
departure. They accompanied me to the landing- 
place, where, on getting into my boat, I bade them 
adieu. They would, however, insist on hiring a boat, 
and rowing for two miles, a little astern of my boat, to 
the outer harbour, till we arrived alongside the man- 
of-war in which I was to embark. Here, as I ascended 
the gangway, my Chinese friends exchanged with me 
a last farewell by waving their hands, and were soon 
on their way back through the harbour to Amoy. 
Shortly after we were proceeding on the voyage to 
Hong Kong ; and in a few hours were out of sight 
of localities, the remembrance of which will ever 
be endeared to my mind by the kind friendship 


of all the Missionary brethren, and the incidents of 
my stay of more than six weeks. 

During the first two days of our voyage we expe- 
rienced light head-winds; and on the third day we 
had a strong contrary breeze from the south-east. On 
the fourth day there sprung up a fresh breeze from 
the north-east, before which we sailed at a rapid rate. 
In the afternoon we were already off Pedra Branca, 
and finding that we were unable to reach the entrance 
among the islands before sunset, we were forced to 
heave to for the night, as there was no moon, the 
wind increasing to a gale. At day-break on Friday, 
Feb. 27th, we found that we had drifted a few miles 
to the leeward of the island of Hong Kong. After an 
hour's beating to windward, we passed through the 
Limoon passage on the east, and soon came to anchor 
in Victoria harbour. 

During the course of the following month of March 
I paid a third visit to Canton, for the purpose of as- 
certaining the state of popular feeling, and the pro- 
gress of the Missionary work since my visit about 
eleven months previously. In the intervening period 
of time a few more Missionaries had removed from 
Hong Kong to Canton. Among these was the Rev. 
Dr. Bridgman, a Missionary of considerable experience, 
who had formerly resided for ten years at Canton. 
The Missionary Hospital had become more fully than 
ever identified with the Missionary cause ; and a few 
of the Missionaries were assisted by Leang Afa in re- 
gularly holding a Sabbath service among the patients, 
of whom generally one hundred assembled for the pur- 
pose. All other public services, however, were now 
at an end, except at the Missionaries' own residences. 


The writer could have wished that, on his last visit 
to this populous city, he had been permitted to che- 
rish a more favourable opinion of the sjpirit of the 
populace, and of the extent of Missionary openings at 
Canton. Candour, however, compels him to express 
how wide and marked is the difference between the 
friendly and peaceable demeanour of the people in 
the more northerly cities, and the arrogant turbu- 
lence of spirit which still forms the distinguishing 
characteristic of the Canton mob. He calls to mind 
the happy period of free and unrestrained intercourse 
which he held with all classes of native society in 
other parts of China, and the fair measure of personal 
respect which was there extended to Missionary la- 
bourers, among rulers and people, among rich and 
poor, in the heart of crowded cities and in the retire- 
ment of distant villages. And he cannot avoid con- 
trasting the enlarged measure of freedom possessed 
by foreigners in those other ports, with the narrow 
limits of a few streets in an inconsiderable suburb, 
within which foreigners are virtually imprisoned as 
a despised and insulted portion of the community at 

The time of my last visit was one of great popular 
excitement. The mob had shown a strong disposition 
to take the reins of authority into their own hands. 
The local Government was in a state of paralysis. 
Ke-Ying's proclamation, extending to foreigners the 
right of entering the city, and admonishing the people 
that " all that the earth contained and the heavens co- 
vered should dwell together in friendship and amity," 
" without any line of demarkation," had thrown the 
whole population into a ferment of discontent and 


rebellion. Contrary placards of defiance were issued 
by the enraged people ; and the palace and offices of 
the kwang-chow-foo, or " prefect," were burnt by a 
mob, ostensibly for the maltreatment of some Chinese, 
but really as an ebullition of popular indignation 
against the framers of the recent edict. The Man- 
darins were publicly insulted whenever they issued 
from their dwellings ; and a general attack on the 
foreign factories was meditated by the rabble. The 
proclamations of the Chinese authorities were re- 
voked ; and public intimation was given by them that 
the will of the people should prevail, and the "Barba- 
rians" (such is the precise term of the proclamation !) 
should not be allowed to enter the city. A British 

war-steamer arrived, and anchored off the foreign re- 


sidences. The local military sympathized with the 
populace in their antipathy to foreigners, and could 
not be depended on for quelling the disturbances. 
Ke-ying had sent elsewhere for military reinforce- 
ments ; and, after a period of preparation, had at 
length assumed a decided tone of authority, and ap- 
prehended some of the ringleaders of the mob. Po- 
pular violence had thus for a time been suppressed 
and the authority of Chinese law again predominated ; 
but no foreigner could extend his walks with safety 
far from the foreign factories. 

In the meantime the island of Chusan had been 
retained by the British, on the plea of this non-fulfil- 
ment of the conditions of peace at Canton, beyond the 
stipulated time, when the last sum of indemnity was 
paid in the month of February. Notwithstanding the 
interviews between the Chinese and British plenipo- 
tentiaries, the matter could not be adjusted amid the 


conflicting difficulties produced by the lawless vio- 
lence of the Canton mob. On the one hand was re- 
presented the readiness of the British to cede Chusan, 
when the spirit of the treaty of Nanking* should be 
fulfilled by the admission of British subjects into the 
city, ee without molestation or restriction." On the other 
hand, Ke-Ying, who had rendered himself personally 
responsible to the Emperor for the punctual restora- 
tion of Chusan, strongly deprecated this retention of 
the island. He represented that it was the sure pre- 
cursor of unmerited ruin to himself; was calculated 
to perpetuate, in the minds of the Chinese, a distrust 
of British integrity ; and was, moreover, unnecessary 
for the preservation of the commercial facilities and 
privileges of foreigners.* The local gentry and scho- 
lars ventured to suggest extreme measures against the 
faithless Barbarians ; and the country-people, blindly 
supposing that they were as superior in strength as in 
numbers, endeavoured to bring matters to a crisis, 
from the evil consequences of which they were able to 
retire to their own villages beyond the reach of British 
retaliation. The native merchants and shopkeepers, 
who had capital and property to lose, seemed alone to 
be devoid of sympathy with the belligerent populace, 
and to tremble for the consequences of a collision. 

In the midst of these turmoils and anxieties, the 
bodily frame of Ke-Ying began rapidly to sink. 
Haemoptysis followed; and he suffered also from a 
cataract formed on one eye. As the Missionary phy- 
sician applied the stethoscope to his breast, Ke-Ying 

* Chusan was ceded to the Chinese Government by the British 
Plenipotentiary in the following 1 month of July. 

K K 


remarked, " I have a disease of my heart, which no 
physician can cure." For a time he was incapacitated 
from business, and appeared to labour under mental 

Such signs of the insurrectionary state of the 
people will make it apparent to every mind that, in 
the event of another collision with China, the danger 
arises of a war, not, as in the last conflict, with her 
rulers, but with her people; the important conse- 
quences of which are removed beyond the limits of 
human foresight. The peaceful character of the 
people in other parts of China, and the generally per- 
ceptible desire of the Chinese authorities to preserve 
order and protect strangers, afford a guarantee for 
the continuance of pacific relations. Peace, however, 
may at any moment be disturbed by some local outrage 
at Canton, followed, on the part of the British Govern- 
ment, by demands of reparation and indemnity, to 
which the Chinese Government may be unable or un- 
willing, in the state of the popular mind, to concede. 

Many are disposed to regard the anomalous state 
of affairs, which has been described, as a mark of 
decay, and the presage of ruin to the power of the 
present dynasty, if not to the stability of the empire 
itself. But it is important that such opinions should 
be modified by the reflection, that insurrections and 
turmoils have been frequent in every reign, and that 
the populace at Canton have been for centuries in a 
continual state of partial rebellion. Amid these dan- 
gers from within, the safety of China depends on her 
avoiding perils from without. Her principal danger 
is that of another foreign collision, fomented alike by 
the blind arrogance of the anti-European party at 


Peking, and the excited feelings of the mob at Canton. 
Her real interests lie in the adoption of a liberal 
policy toward " Outward nations," in the Accommoda- 
tion of her Government to the new emergency which 
has been created, and in the residence of foreign 
ambassadors at Peking. Unless she thus remodel her 
system of policy, and abandon her isolated position 
among the kingdoms of the earth, she must remain 
stationary in knowledge, in arts, in power, in wealth, 
and in all the more substantial blessings of a pro- 
gressive civilization. Among the more prominent 
characters now moving in the grand drama of Chinese 
politics, there is no one who appears better adapted 
to arrest the progress of national decay than the 
pacific and enlightened Ke-Ying himself; who, from 
the secret perusal of the books of foreigners, has 
imbibed no inconsiderable knowledge of the religion 
of Christian lands. 

There is another rock of danger which may, in a 
no less degree, cause a wreck of the national re- 
sources, and, if such an expression be strictly appli- 
cable to a pagan people, of the national morals ; and 
for the removal of this source of danger, Britain is in 
a great measure responsible. The Chinese, as a 
Government, have been, during the last half century, 
opposed to the introduction of opium into the country. 
Individual officers, for the sake of peace or bribes, have 
doubtless connived at the evil ; but, as a Government, 
they have prohibited, by distinct and explicit laws, 
the introduction of opium into the country, by that 
inalienable, inviolable right, by which every indepen- 
dent Government can exclude articles of contraband 
traffic. Consistently with the prohibited importation 

K K2 


of opium from foreign lands, its growth has been 
interdicted in China itself, in six provinces of which 
it has, at various times, been clandestinely raised. 
The Chinese Government have always had it in their 
power to exclude foreign opium, by the simple pro- 
cess of encouraging the growth of the poppy on their 
own soil. They have, however, pursued the opposite 
course ; no slight evidence that, amid all the instances 
of venal and corrupt connivance on the part of the 
subordinate officials in the maritime provinces, the 
moral evils greatly, if not principally, influenced the 
prohibition of opium by the Imperial Government. 
This opposition commenced in the reign of Kea-King, 
at the close of the last century, whose proclamation 
against opium, in 1796, preceded, by several years, 
the date when the balance against China, between the 
export and import of the precious metals, added 
another item to the sum of apprehended evils, giving 
birth to the suspicion, in the minds of foreigners, that 
the fear of Sycee " oozing out of the country" out- 
weighed or supplanted all moral considerations in 
the exclusion of opium. But although it should be 
granted that financial considerations of this kind may 
have strengthened, or even originated, in many cases, 
the opposition of the high Chinese authorities to the 
importation of opium, it may fairly be asked, whether 
the considerations of financial expediency and self- 
interest may not properly be admitted to strengthen 
and confirm a policy, which, for its primary force, 
rests on the obligations of conscience and on the 
eternal principles of moral truth. 

Equally untenable is the position of those who 
endeavour to palliate or defend the smuggling of 


opium into China on the plea that, if the Govern- 
ment of a country enact prohibitory laws against 
any traffic, that Government is bound to take effec- 
tive measures to carry into execution the prohibi- 
tion. Let, however, the armed smuggling clippers, 
which have spread themselves over the whole length 
of the coast, proclaim the absurdity of such an argu- 
ment, when addressed to a weak Government like 
that of China, almost powerless in the arts of defence 
and war. 

The opium-drain is severely felt in China. The 
more patriotic of the native scholars speak of the rapid 
decay of their cities from their ancient wealth and 
splendour as the consequence of the system. This 
subject is the great difficulty which will, sooner or 
later, embarrass the two Governments. Let, then, the 
Christian legislators of Britain look to this evil, and 
boldly confront the danger. Opium is doubtless a 
profitable source of income to our Anglo-Indian 
Government, which those who take a low view of the 
question may be unwilling to abandon. But let 
Indian revenues be collected ' from other sources 
than from a nation whose Government we have 
humbled to the dust, and incapacitated for the 
rigorous enforcement of her tariff-laws. Britain has 
incurred a heavy debt of responsibility in this matter; 
and unless the Christian course, which generosity 
and justice alike point out, be strictly followed, the 
page of history, which proclaims to future generations 
the twenty millions sterling consecrated on the altar 
of humanity to the cause of slave-emancipation, will 
lose all its splendour ; yea, will be positively odious 
to the eye beside the counter-page which publishes 


our national avarice in reaping an annual revenue of 
two millions sterling from the proceeds of a contra- 
band traffic on the shores of a weak and defenceless 
heathen empire. Britain has displayed her power, the 
giant's attribute. Let her also exhibit to the people and 
rulers of this pagan country the noble spectacle of 
a Christian Government, superior to the arts of op- 
pression, and actuated by a philanthropic regard to 
the best interests of mankind. 




A BRIEF review of the state and prospects of Hong 
Kong, as far as they are likely to affect the Missionary 
work in China, will close the narrative contained in 
this volume. 

It was during the year 1839 that the violent pro- 
ceedings of Commissioner Lin against British subjects, 
and the insecure position of the latter at Macao under 
the inefficient protection of the Portuguese, caused the 
gradual removal of the British vessels to the harbour 
of Hong Kong, where the greater part of the British 
community continued to live on board. A few huts 
and mat buildings were built on the island itself; but 
no regular attempt was made to form a settlement till 
after the treaty with Keshen, in the beginning of 1841, 
when it was formally ceded in perpetuity to the 
British. Liberal inducements were held out to en- 
courage the influx of British capital and enterprise ; 
and several merchants commenced building, on a large 


scale, on the site of the new town of Victoria. The 
subsequent breach of the treaty by the Chinese, and 
the general uncertainty produced by the resumption 
of hostilities, delayed the general migration to Hong 
Kong till after the treaty of Nanking, by which the 
cession of the island to the British was finally con- 
firmed. Subsequently to this date, the colony rapidly 
increased, and at the present time (May 1846) the 
rugged precipitous shore, which forms the southern 
edge of the harbour, presents the imposing aspect of a 
European town suddenly grown into existence, with 
regular streets of substantial buildings, rising one 
above another, and with a line of military forts, bar- 
racks, hospitals, and stores, standing forth as a power- 
ful monument of the energy and strength of western 

The island itself stretches, in an irregular direction, 
from N. W. to S. E., being about ten miles in length 
and about half that distance in breadth. Its northern 
side, bending, at either extremity, towards the oppo- 
site continent, forms a large and commodious shelter 
for shipping off the town of Victoria; the harbour ex- 
tending about five miles in length and nearly two 
miles in width, at the point where the island ap- 
proaches nearest to the mainland. There are a few 
villages scattered over the island, the largest of which, 
named Chek-choo, lies on the south, and contains a 
population of about 2000. This, together with the 
smaller village of Sai-wan on the east, has risen into 
importance as barracks, and a sanatorium for the mili- 
tary. The population consists of fishermen, petty 
traders, and a few agricultural labourers. Only small 
portions of the soil are under tillage, the island being 


formed of one huge cluster of towering cliffs, which 
divide it in the centre, and rear their barren summits 
to the clouds. A partial vegetation of green herbage, 
after the rainy season, clothes the sides of the ravines, 
where the glittering cascades pour along their rolling 
torrents, and descend into the sea through the little 
valleys below. 

Many of the buildings in the new town are of mag- 
nificent structure, raised, at an enormous expense, by 
cutting away the sides of the projecting headlands, 
and formed generally of granite, with which the 
neighbourhood abounds. A fine road, lined on either 
side with streets or houses through the greater part 
of its extent, leads along the whole edge of the har- 
bour, and has been continued, on a less scale, to some 
of the neighbouring marine villages on each side of 
the island. The more western parts of the town are 
occupied by Chinese streets and bazaars, which have 
been raised with wonderful rapidity, and contain a 
busy and enterprising portion of the community. 
The view from some of the lesser eminences is im- 
posing and picturesque, especially from the site of 
the Morrison Education Society's School, looking 
down upon every form and variety of foreign and 
native craft in the splendid harbour, and bounded 
in the distance by the towering ridges of the op- 
posite coast. The immigration of Chinese settlers 
has proceeded with proportionable rapidity, the na- 
tive population of the island having been already 
nearly trebled. 

While contemplating this rapidly-formed colony, 
the circumstances under which it has been gained, and 
its probable influence on the future destinies of a race 


amounting to one-third of the estimated population of 
our planet, many novel considerations obtrude them- 
selves on the mind of a British Christian. Believing 
that his country has been honoured by God as the 
chosen instrument for diffusing the pure light of Pro- 
testant Christianity through the world, and that the 
permanency of her laws, institutions, and empire, is 
closely connected with the diffusion of evangelical 
truth, a British Missionary feels jealous for the faith- 
fulness of his country to her high vocation, and " re- 
joices with trembling" at the extension of her colonial 
empire. Kingdoms rise and fall, each fulfilling its 
appointed measure of instrumentality in accomplish- 
ing the divine purposes for the salvation of mankind. 
These reflections are peculiarly appropriate to the 
present condition of this new British settlement. 
From its political and commercial bearings the writer 
purposely abstains, except as they indirectly affect 
the social state of the native population, now brought 
under the direct influence of British law, and the 
benevolent attempt to introduce among them the 
blessings of Christianity. The permanency of occu- 
pation of Hong Kong its adaptation to the important 
ends which it was intended to promote the mea- 
sure of its influence on the continuance of peace 
and, above all, the real amount of advantage which it 
secures to the Missionary of the Cross in his all- 
important work are considerations full of intense and 
affecting interest at this critical juncture. The de- 
sires and the wishes of a Christian patriot naturally 
incline to Chusan, as that spot which, above all 
others, would have abundantly secured the advan- 
tages of climate, of situation, of independence, and of 


natural resources, of which Hong Kong is confessedly 

Although every friend of the Missionary cause will 
be disposed fairly to appreciate the advantages of a 
British settlement like Hong Kong, and the superior 
prospects of permanency which it affords, yet it must 
be confessed, that, were our hopes limited to this spot, 
it would be a debateable question, whether China had 
been in the least degree opened to the diffusion of 
Christianity. While such an open entrance lies before 
us, in the neighbourhood of the consular cities along 
the coast of China, more than sufficient to employ the 
energies of all the Missionaries which the churches of 
Britain and America are likely to send, it would be 
improper to assign to a contracted sphere of labour, 
like Hong Kong, one iota more than its proportion of 
Missionary labour. There are other considerations 
which stamp Hong Kong with an unpromising and 
uninviting Missionary character. 

On the disadvantage of climate the author is indis- 
posed to dwell, because the comparative salubrity of 
the last summer (1845) has been a happy exception to 
the generality of such seasons at Hong Kong ; and 
because, also, the salubrity or insalubrity of a locality 
is a matter of secondary consideration, in those cases 
in which there is any prospect of a proportionate 
amount of usefulness. Only a more lengthened expe- 
rience of the climate can, however, fully divest the 
mind of serious apprehensions on this point, which 
the previous mortality on the island has not unreason- 
ably excited. The geological character of the island 
the obstacles to free ventilation caused by the sur- 
rounding hills the unhealthy evaporations produced 


by the powerful heat of the sun on the saturated soil 
after the rains and the glaring heat reflected from 
the burning mountain-sides in the hot season pre- 
sent physical causes sufficient to account for the ex- 
istence of a very insalubrious climate. Doubtless a 
part of the previous mortality had been caused by 
noxious exhalations from the large surface of new 
soil dug up for building sites, by insufficient shelter 
from the elements, and by excesses too powerful for 
the European constitution to bear in an untried cli- 
mate. Although the writer's own opinion has been 
considerably modified as to the extent of the insalu- 
brity of Hong Kong, he yet retains his fears that few- 
European constitutions will be found able to bear for 
many consecutive years, in its debilitating climate, the 
rigorous study and physical exertion necessary for 
Missionary usefulness in China. 

The moral and social character of the Chinese popula- 
tion at Hong Kong presents a disadvantage of a very 
different kind. While in the northern cities on the 
mainland of China daily intercourse may be held 
without restraint with the more respectable classes of 
native society, and a foreigner everywhere meets an 
intelligent and friendly population ; at Hong Kong, 
on the other hand, Missionaries may labour for years 
without being brought into personal communication 
with any Chinese, except such as are, generally speak- 
ing, of the lowest character, and unlikely to exert a 
moral influence on their fellow-countrymen. The 
lowest dregs of native society flock to the British Set- 
tlement, in the hope of gain or plunder. Although a 
few of the better classes of shopkeepers are beginning 
to settle in the colony, the great majority of the new 


comers are of the lowest condition and character. 
The principal part of the Chinese population in the 
town consists of servants, coolies, stone-cutters, and 
masons engaged in temporary works. About one- 
third of the population live in boats on the water. 
The colony has been for some time also the- resort of 
pirates and thieves, so protected by secret compact as 
to defy the ordinary regulations of police for detection 
or prevention. In short, there are but faint prospects 
at present of any other than either a migratory or a 
predatory race being attracted to Hong Kong, who, 
when their hopes of gain or pilfering vanish, without 
hesitation or difficulty remove elsewhere. At Canton 
the greatest unwillingness exists in the minds of re- 
spectable natives to incur the odium which attaches 
to any connexion with Hong Kong. It is not unna- 
tural that such a prejudice should exist in the minds 
of the patriotic Chinese against a settlement wrested 
from them by the sword ; and that the Chinese rulers 
should invest with the utmost degree of odium a 
locality which must be a continual eye-sore to their 
pride. In such a state of public feeling the terrors 
and restraints of law become a powerful instrument of 
restraining respectable natives from immigrating to 
the foreign settlement. A wealthy Chinese coming to 
Hong Kong necessarily leaves the bulk of his pro- 
perty, and many members of his family, on the main- 
land, as pledges and hostages within the reach of the 
offended authorities ; so that, when residing in Hong 
Kong, he is under the control of the Mandarins 
almost as much as if he were on the soil of China 
itself. It may be perceived how, under such a system 
of virtual intimidation, we are excluded from all hope 


of gaining for Hong Kong any better class of inhabi- 
tants than those with whose presence the Mandarins 
find it convenient to dispense. 

Even in the absence of other obstacles to the moral 
and social improvement of the colony, Hong Kong is 
excluded, by the terms of the treaty with the Chinese, 
from the hope of any considerable amelioration in 
the class of settlers. By the 13th, 14th, and 16th 
Articles of the supplementary treaty, it is stipulated 
that no Chinese trading-junks shall be allowed to visit 
Hong Kong except from the five free ports ; and that 
even these must be provided with a passport from the 
Chinese authorities. It is also agreed that British 
officers at Hong Kong shall examine every passport 
so presented, and forward a monthly account or report 
to the Chinese Superintendant of Customs at Canton, 
of the native vessels arriving at Hong Kong, together 
with the name of the proprietor or captain, the nature 
of the cargo, &c. &c. In the case of any vessel enter- 
ing the port of Hong Kong, not thus provided with a 
pass, the British authorities have bound themselves to 
arrest the crew, and send them for condign punish- 
ment to the Chinese authorities on the mainland. 
With such a stipulation as this, and the natural pre- 
judices of the Chinese against Hong Kong, it will 
easily be seen how little hope we are permitted to 
entertain of the probable moral and social improve- 
ment of the colony. 

The Chinese who come to Hong Kong are generally 
unmarried men, or leave their wives and families on 
the mainland, returning with their savings to their 
homes after a few months' labour. The original popu- 
lation of the island, 7500, had been increased by an 


accession, which raised the entire number to 19,000 
Chinese, according to a census taken in 1844, three 
years after its formal cession to the British by treaty. 
These are nearly all illiterate, unable to read, and 
consequently shut out from an important channel of 
religious instruction. They form a class, above 
all others, needing the restraining, sanctifying power 
of the Gospel ; but the most opposite to that quiet, 
orderly, and settled class of people, who are to be met 
with in the four northern ports, and whose character 
affords the fairest prospects of Missionary success. 

Another difficulty, which impresses on Hong Kong 
a peculiar ineligibility as a Missionary Station, is the 
great diversity of dialects which prevails among its 
limited population of 19,000 Chinese, and which is 
necessarily produced by the heterogeneous elements 
of which it is composed. There are three principal 
dialects in the island, the speaker of one of which 
would be unintelligible to the speaker of another. 
Under these there are other subdivisions of the local 
dialect, more or less distinct, but presenting some 
features of resemblance. There is the Hok-ha dia- 
lect, spoken by 3500 settlers from the north-east of 
the Canton province. The Pun-te, or dialect of the 
place and neighbourhood, is also subdivided into the 
Sin-On, spoken by the original inhabitants and the 
settlers from Macao ; the Pwan-yu, spoken by the 
settlers from Whampoa ; and the Nan-hoi. There 
are also the Hak-lo dialect from Fokeen, and some 
other varieties, each of them spoken by a few hun- 
dreds or tens of persons. In such a place, a student 
of the Chinese language would be placed under great 
disadvantages. Not only would a Missionary be 


hindered in his usefulness by the perplexing variety 
of dialects, but it would be next to impossible for a 
foreign student of ordinary talent, who had not pre- 
viously studied the language in some other part, ever 
to attain a fluent and correct pronunciation of any 
dialect in Hong Kong. 

Two other serious disadvantages to Hong Kong, how- 
ever, are the frequent spectacle of European irreligion, 
and the invidious regulations of police, both of which 
are likely to exert an unfavourable influence on the 
future evangelization of the Chinese. It is with un- 
feigned regret and reluctance that the author states, 
that scenes frequently occur in the public streets, and 
in the interior of houses, which are calculated to place 
the countrymen of Missionaries in an unfavourable 
aspect before the native mind. The opinion is sincerely 
held and deliberately expressed, that, unless present 
tendencies are happily obviated, the settlement is 
more likely to prove a detriment than a blessing. The 
advantages, in point of permanency, which it holds out 
above the consular cities on the mainland, are im- 
measurably outweighed by the injurious point of view 
in which a professedly Christian nation stands forth 
to the view of the Chinese people. Sabbath desecra- 
tion is very prevalent. The clinking of ham- 
mers from the military buildings, and the noise of 
masons and stone-cutters engaged in the public works, 
are sounds with which the congregation, worshipping 
in the temporary building used as the colonial church, 
have long been familiarized. 

The Chinese also are treated as a degraded race of 
people. They are not permitted to go out into the 
public streets after a certain hour in the evening, with- 


out a lantern and a written note from their European 
employer, to secure them from the danger of apprehen- 
sion and imprisonment till the morning. According to 
a local gazette, the official organ of the Government, 
the most abandoned classes of Chinese, who form a 
subject of odious traffic to Chinese speculators, were, at 
least for a time, under the regular superintendence of 
local officers, and contributed each a monthly sum as 
payment toward the expenses of this control. The 
recollection of the reader is recalled also to the case 
of A-quei, the only wealthy Chinese on the island, 
who now, by the rights which he has acquired as the 
purchaser of the opium-farm, wields an instrument of 
oppressive exaction and extortion over the rest of the 
Chinese settlers. At one period he was in the habit 
of visiting the native boats and private houses, in 
order to seize every ball of opium suspected of being 
sold without his licence. Accompanied for that pur- 
pose by native or by Indian police, he exercised an 
inquisitorial power for enforcing his monopoly over 
the timid Chinese, sufficient to check and discourage 
respectable natives from settling at Hong Kong. Even 
in a commercial point of view, it is the opinion of the 
best judges in such a matter that Hong Kong is never 
likely to realize a small part of the expectations 
cherished on its first acquisition. 

Even the few Chinese who profess Christianity, 
or are well affected to the Missionaries, are not 
exempted from the evil influences which have been 
described. Some of these have frequently given 
utterance to the most impassioned indignation, when 
speaking of the cases of harsh treatment to which 
they are exposed. By these means, a race of people, 

L L 


the most alive to the influences of kind treatment, 
instead of being converted into friends of British con- 
nexion, become alienated, and return to their native 
soil with prejudices and heart-burnings increased to a 
ten-fold degree, to spread abroad disaffection to Hong 
Kong, and hatred of the Western Barbarians. The 
invidious regulations now in force may perhaps be 
necessary in the present social condition of the native 
community. But the writer cannot refrain from 
stating his opinion, that, till a more liberal policy can 
be adopted towards our Chinese fellow-subjects in 
Hong Kong, we shall look in vain for the immi- 
gration of a more respectable class of native traders, 
or, what in his judgment is of still greater importance, 
of more hopeful subjects for Christian instruction. 




THE comparative ineligibility of Hong Kong as a 
Missionary Station is to be inferred from the fact, that 
out of the whole number of Protestant Missionaries, 
who were located in the colony in the beginning of 
1845, only two or three now remain permanently at- 
tached to the Station. The rest have gradually come 
to the decision that Canton, with all the local disad- 
vantages arising from restricted limits and popular 
turbulence, affords a wider and more hopeful field 
of labour. 

The most useful Missionary Institution at Hong 
Kong is the Morrison Education Society's School, which 
was originated a few years ago by a few benevolent 
individuals, who wished to commemorate, by some 
scholastic institution for the benefit of the Chinese, the 

L L 2 


name of the first Protestant Missionary to China. 
The school contains about thirty pupils, of ages vary- 
ing from eight to nineteen years ; and has been from 
the commencement under the able superintendence of 
an American Missionary, the Rev. S. R. Brown, who, 
with his excellent wife, has raised the institution to a 
state of efficiency unequalled by any other similar in- 
stitution in China. The pupils are divided into four 
classes, two of which are instructed by an assistant 
master. The mornings are devoted to English stu- 
dies ; and the afternoons are spent in Chinese studies 
with a native teacher. The course of study embraces 
the usual branches of a thorough English education ; 
viz. reading, spelling, writing, composition, arithme- 
tic, geography, history, algebra, and geometry. The 
author has, on different occasions, heard the senior 
pupils demonstrate some of the most difficult propo- 
sitions in Euclid with the utmost precision, amid fre- 
quent cross-questioning. It was a pleasing sight to 
mingle in the evening devotions of the Missionary 
family, and to behold the deep and affectionate atten- 
tion with which this interesting body of youths listened 
to the Scripture expositions of their preceptor, so well 
seconded by the tender kindness and moral influence 
of his wife. It was no less pleasant than affecting to 
listen to the hymns, in which they were taught to sing 
the praises of the Redeemer of mankind. Some of 
the elder boys have for some time evinced a consistent 
Christian deportment ; and one of them, A-shing, a 
very sensible lad, has professed his desire to devote 
himself to the service of God among his countrymen. 
Being still under the power of their heathen parents 
on the mainland, none of them have been yet baptized. 


Some of their English compositions indicate great 
talent, and good common sense, and prove the capa- 
city of the Chinese mind for gaining knowledge. 

Within a hundred yards of the Morrison Education 
Society's School, and on the same conspicuous eleva- 
tion of site, is the Medical Missionary Hospital, pre- 
sided over by Dr. Hobson, a zealous medical Missio- 
nary of the London Missionary Society, who was 
obliged to return to England on the occasion of the 
illness of his wife, who died as they arrived in sight 
of the British shore. Dr. Hobson is about to return 
to Hong Kong in the course of a few months. 

The only remaining Missionary institution is a Chi- 
nese school belonging to the London Missionary So- 
ciety, and formerly conducted at Malacca under the 
title of the "Anglo-Chinese College." Here a few 
boys are educated by the Rev. Dr. Legge, an able 
Missionary of the same Society ; his wife also con- 
ducting a school for Chinese girls. Dr. Legge is now 
temporarily absent in England on account of illness, 
but is expected to return, at no distant period, to the 
scene of his Missionary operations ; his place being 
occupied, in the interval, by Mr. Gillespie, who arrived 
in China in 1844. The two Missionary Chapels, built 
by the American Baptist Missionaries, have been left 
for a time entirely under the control of native 

The Roman-Catholic Missionaries in Hong Kong 
continually vary in number. They hold services in 
their public chapel for the Roman-Catholic members 
of the community, and regularly visit the patients in 
the military hospitals. A gentleman, with whom the 
author is acquainted, lately attended a service in their 


chapel, on which occasion the congregation amounted 
to 800 persons, including nearly all the Portuguese 
residents in Hong Kong, with several Chinese ammahs 
or nurses, and a large portion of a Roman-Catholic 
regiment (the 18th Royal Irish), now stationed in 
Hong Kong. A bishop from Shanghai was assisted 
by fifteen European and four Chinese priests, all 
richly clad in their vestments, the whole service 
being of the most gorgeous and theatrical character. 
The priests, with the exception of one or two, are 
only temporary residents at Hong Kong, where 
they await the arrival of couriers from the different 
provinces, and soon take their departure for the in- 
terior of China with the native conductors, leaving 
their places to be rapidly supplied by new arrivals 
from Europe. About this time application was made 
by one of the priests to the agent of the Peninsular 
and Oriental Steam-Navigation Company, to contract 
for the passage to China, via Egypt and Ceylon, of 
thirty Popish Missionaries during the present year. 
There were at the same time twenty priests in the 
Italian Mission House. 

And with these local signs of activity among the 
professors of a corrupted form of Christianity, vigo- 
rously pouring their emissaries into the breach opened 
into the heart of this heathen continent, what have 
we to contrast in the present operations of Protestant 
Churches, and especially of our own Church ? While 
public buildings, of almost palace-like structure, have 
been raised at a munificent outlay of expenditure, no 
signs of the building of a suitable edifice for the public 
worship of God, according to the forms and ritual of 
the Church of England, meet the eye in any direction. 


Hospitals, forts, batteries, barracks, a jail, and even a 
Mahomedan mosque, already stand as speaking monu- 
ments of the priority in the scale of importance of 
secular undertakings over religious duties. One 
solitary Missionary at Shanghai is the only representa- 
tive of the Missionary zeal of the Church of England. 
The writer leaves China with the melancholy reflec- 
tion, that this is all that can be truly deemed Missio- 
nary work among the Chinese, either in present ope- 
ration or in immediate prospect, in which we can 
claim any part. 

The Rev. Vincent Stan ton, the colonial chaplain, 
has commenced the building of a school for Chinese 
boys ; but as the necessary engagements of his 
charge in visiting the sick in the hospitals, and 
fulfilling the more public duties of his situation, re- 
quire more than all the energy and strength possessed 
both by himself and his coadjutor, the military chaplain, 
the active personal duties of tuition must devolve on 
some labourer unconnected with any other employ- 
ment than that of an exclusively Missionary character. 

For ordinary Chinese schools, the consular cities on 
the coast of China afford as many facilities as Hong 
Kong itself. For Missionary seminaries of a higher 
order, in a future and more advanced stage of our 
Missions, a British colony may possibly present supe- 
rior advantages. Such seminaries or colleges, how- 
ever, do not belong to the first stages of Missionary 
work ; but are the fruits of a more matured state, 
when a country has advanced beyond the mere infancy 
of Christian Missions. Educational plans for the 
benefit of the Chinese ought to have a primary, if not 
exclusive reference to the object of raising a native 


Christian ministry. Instruction of Chinese youths 
must necessarily be conveyed either in Chinese or in 
English. Education in their own language they can 
receive at little expense, and with greater advantage, 
in their own native schools. Indiscriminate instruc- 
tion in the English language will only place native 
youths in circumstances of increased temptation, quali- 
fying them for situations as interpreters of the lowest 
class, and leading them, by the hope of high wages, to 
abandon the less alluring prospects of quiet connexion 
with the Missionaries. To devote the time and labour 
of Missionaries, at least on their first arrival, to the 
object of imparting an indiscriminate English education 
to Chinese youths, who neither are the sons of Chris- 
tian converts, nor evince any signs of a belief in Chris- 
tianity, is to incapacitate the individual Missionaries 
from acquiring the language, and to fritter away the 
energies of the Mission generally on a work of doubt- 
ful expediency, which has no necessary connexion 
with the Missionary enterprise. Such secular educa- 
tion does not properly fall within the province of a 
Missionary Society. During the author's journeyings 
and residence in the northern ports, the following facts 
were impressed constantly on his mind. 1. The very 
partial prevalence of education among the bulk of the 
lower classes of people in the villages, though in 
the towns the ability to read was much more general ; 
2. The consequent importance of direct preaching to 
the people ; and, 3. The expediency of providing 
means for the systematic preparation of native evan- 
gelists, to accompany and assist European Missiona- 
ries in the work of oral instruction. These considera- 
tions point out the importance, at some future period, 


of a good " Anglo-Chinese Missionary Institution," in 
which an able Missionary should devote his principal 
endeavours to the work of imparting the benefits of a 
first-rate education to a limited number of youths of 
promising talent and disposition. At present there is 
a want of materials for such an institution, a"s the first . 
elements of education have to be previously imparted in 
common schools, before any seminary or college can be 
raised. To reverse the order of these two distinct kinds 
of educational agency, is to confound the natural course 
of things. Such materials, though not existing at the 
commencement, may ere long be raised up about the 
families of Missionaries, and among the children of 
converts. A proficiency in the more elementary 
branches of education, conveyed to them through the 
medium of books composed by Missionaries in the 
Chinese language, and a lengthened test, under the 
eye of Missionaries, of the mental powers and moral 
disposition of individual pupils, will in due time point 
out proper subjects for receiving the more solid ad- 
vantages which a thorough education in the science 
and theology of the West, through the medium of the 
English language, will confer on native youths, in 
their endeavours to diffuse the Gospel among their 
fellow-countrymen. For this higher course of edu- 
cation it may be expedient to form a Missionary 
seminary at a distance from the place of their nativity, 
where a few pupils of promising piety and ability 
may be collected together, in one place, from the 
several stations on the coast of China, and at the same 
time be detached from the unfavourable influences of 
kindred and home. Hong Kong, though replete with 
dangers from European intercourse, and the inconve- 


niences of distance, yet may possibly hereafter afford 
the greatest facilities for carrying out such a plan. 

The system of central education is generally open 
to objections ; but the circumstances of the China 
Mission are regarded as being peculiar and dissimilar 
from other Missions. A Missionary occupying the 
post of Principal of such an institution might hold 
daily family services, and occasional public services, 
at his own house, for the benefit of such Chinese as 
might be induced to attend. The youths, thus care- 
fully educated and trained, with a view to personal 
dedication to the work of evangelizing their country- 
men, might, on the completion of the necessary course 
of instruction, return to the Missionaries on the conti- 
nent of China ; where, by the Divine blessing on the 
means employed in their preparation, they might 
become valuable and efficient aids to the European 

Printing establishments are an unnecessary expense 
to any Missionary Society just entering on a Mission 
in China. Except for the purposes of ephemeral 
publication, and the intermixture of English type 
with Chinese, no advantage is gained by a European 
printing press. When a Missionary, at any of the 
consular cities, has composed a tract, he has merely 
to go into a neighbouring street, and call to his aid 
the services of a block-cutter ; who, unless the tract 
is of very bulky dimensions, can in a few days produce 
a wooden block, from which an edition of several 
thousand copies can be expeditiously produced. A 
Chinese tract is now before me, composed by the Rev. 
J. Stronach, of Amoy, which contains about 2000 cha- 
racters, and occupies the ordinary length of an eight- 


page English tract. The style of the characters, and 
the general appearance of the tract, are beautifully 
adapted to the Chinese eye and taste. The block- 
cutter was paid at the rate of three copper cash for 
each character. The expense of printing each copy, 
including paper, ink, and stitching, amounted to four 
cash. Thus, the cost of printing, paper, and ink, for 
an edition of 6000 copies, amounted to 24,000 cash ; 
and the addition of the original price of the wooden 
block, 6000 cash, raised the entire cost of the edition 
to 30,000 cash ; i.e. 5 cash each copy. About 25 cash 
are equal to one penny ; so that the whole edition of 
6000 copies cost about five guineas, and each copy less 
than a farthing. The disadvantage of a European 
printing press is, that the salary of printer and assis- 
tants, and the rent of premises, demand continual 
payment, even although there may be no continued 
demand for their services. At the same time, no 
corresponding advantage is gained in point of execu- 
tion, as the native block-printers perform their work 
with wonderful neatness and accuracy. 

The considerations which have been adduced lead 
to the conclusion, that whatever may be the oppor- 
tunities of Missionary intercourse with the Chinese 
at Hong Kong, the eye of the Christian philanthropist 
may be directed to far more promising fields of Mis- 
sionary labour. To concentrate our energies on a 
mere outpost on the enemy's frontiers is a course of 
manifest impolicy. The warfare must be carried into 
the enemy's country. The battle of Christianity must 
be fought on the soil of China herself. 

In the four northern ports the climate is generally 
superior, the people are friendly, and foreigners are 


treated with respect. In short, we have there all 
the essential facilities for Missionary labour that we 
possess in India. In the security of residence for Mis- 
sionaries, in the friendly disposition of the people, in 
the liberal form of their social institutions, in the ab- 
sence of any general form* of superstition strongly en- 
throned in the national mind, in the general diffusion 
of education, and in the growing liberality of the 
Chinese rulers, we have a loud and powerful call to 
vigorous exertion. China has already abandoned 
a portion of her isolated position. She has been 
shorn of the talismanic lock of her fancied supe- 
riority. The wedge of foreign intercourse has been 
inserted, and the breach will be widened. The 
crisis has arrived when the natural rights of civiliza- 
tion can no longer be outraged with safety or impu- 
nity. A few decades of years may intervene of partial 
resistance to the progressive movement. The social 
machine cannot, however, remain in its present state 
of oscillation ; but, propelled by the moral weight of 
both hemispheres, must advance, till an unrestrained 
intercourse be opened between the several tribes of 
the human race. God's providential plans for the 
welfare of mankind will be gradually unfolded with 
increasing clearness ; and the messenger of Christ, no 
longer approaching with timid steps to the confines 
of this heathen empire, may then boldly advance to 
its central regions ; and there, mingling the accents 
of prayer with the notes of thanksgiving, proclaim 
God's message of redeeming mercy to a fallen world. 

Sufficient will have been gathered to lead the reader 
to form an estimate of the peculiar qualifications 
needful in the Missionary labourers who are to enter 


on this field. Without presuming to limit the Divine 
blessing to any class of labourers, it must nevertheless 
be borne in mind, that the obvious qualifications to 
constitute a really efficient Missionary among the 
Chinese are of no common or secondary order. 
Activity of body, energy of mind, ano\ practical 
judgment are required for the study of a difficult 
language, and for keeping up a constant intercourse 
with the people, for the purpose of acquiring the 
spoken dialect, of disarming their prejudices, of win- 
ning their respect, and of exciting their attention to 
the all-important message of the Gospel. An ability 
to grapple with the subtleties of an atheistic philo- 
sophy ; a willingness to mingle with the lowest classes 
of the population ; frequent visits to their houses, 
their temples, and in the surrounding country ; a ready 
accessibility to natives willing to visit the Missionary 
at his own house ; require a more than ordinary 
combination of physical and mental powers, under the 
debilitating influence of a new and untried climate. 
To these natural qualifications must be added a large 
and powerful measure of the spirit of Christ, such as is 
necessary for a Missionary labourer, not only in China, 
but in every heathen land. To behold the empire of 
sin holding universal dominion around him, and 
yet not to be contaminated by the contagion ; to 
be familiarized with the spectacle of idolatry, and 
yet not to lose the tender sensibilities of compassion 
for the poor idolater, and a holy jealousy for the 
honour of God; to feel himself alone, bearing, in some 
cases, a solitary testimony against error, and yet not 
to be downcast or disheartened by his isolated position ; 
to witness frequent acts of lewdness, to experience 


repeated acts of dishonesty, and yet to retain the 
meekness of the Christian character, unruffled and un- 
disturbed ; nay, more than this, to move in the tainted 
atmosphere of spiritual death, and yet to breathe the 
heavenly spirit of devotion, of humility, of penitence, 
of faith, of prayer, of holy trust in an ever-present 
God; all this requires an accession of spiritual graces, 
for the absence of which no qualifications physical, 
mental, or moral of the mere natural man can com- 
pensate. It is a simple, clear, and uncompromising tes- 
timony to the glorious grace of the Gospel, which can 
alone supply a remedy to the moral and spiritual ma- 
lady of the pagan world, and infuse comfort, peace, and 
energy into the soul of the Missionary. The medical 
skill and the healing arts of Christendom may help to 
diffuse a sense of the benevolence of foreigners, and 
conciliate goodwill to the ambassadors of Christ. 
Medicine, as the handmaid of Christianity, may bring 
together the deaf and the blind, the halt and the 
maimed, within the sound of the Gospel. But let it 
ever be borne in mind, that, amid the subsidiary aids 
of medical institutions and scholastic establishments, 
it is primarily and essentially by the message of 
reconciliation, proclaimed by messengers who desire 
to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, that 
we can hope to overcome the difficulties of the Mis- 
sionary work, to effect the real conversion of sinners 
to Christ, and to prepare the way of the Lord in 

For the supply of these materials of Missionary 
strength we look to the pious members of our Church, 
and the rising generation of Christian youth in our 
native land. We turn with imploring eye, with 


anxious heart, and with impassioned tongue, to the 
educated piety and consecrated talent in our univer- 
sities and collegiate schools. We invite the co-opera- 
tion of those Christian parents, who willingly dismiss 
from their embrace their beloved offspring, to the 
most distant regions of Britain's empire, in the path 
of secular distinction. We ask, Where can talents the 
most brilliant, and piety the most fervent, find a 
nobler field for their exercise than on these " fields 
white unto the harvest ? " If the vastness of the work, 
the amount of difficulty, the mighty results to be ex- 
pected, and the encouragements which mingle in the 
prospect, can stamp on any work the impress of true 
glory, then that undertaking is the attempt to diffuse 
the Gospel among the three hundred and sixty mil- 
lions of China. The attempt itself knows nothing to 
equal it in past undertakings. The great wall of 
China the pyramids of Egypt the discovery of a 
new hemisphere sink into insignificance in the com- 
parison with the attempt to demolish the speculative 
atheism and debasing idolatry of China, and to build 
up, in their stead, lively and spiritual stones into the 
temple of the true God. Such an object, so vast in 
conception and so stupendous in results, must not be 
taken in hand sparingly or hesitatingly. Numerous 
labourers must enter on this work. Far better that 
China had never been opened to Christianity, than 
that, with an imperial edict of universal toleration 
beckoning us forward, Protestants should decline en- 
tering the breach with an adequate force. Popery 
is already sending its agents with redoubled acti- 
vity. The impostor of Mecca also, for 600 years, has 
had his numerous followers scattered over the neigh- 


bouring islands, and on the forbidden soil of China 
itself; where Islam, triumphing, not by the usual 
methods of fire and sword, but by the milder arts of 
proselytism, has shamed the puny efforts of Christians 
in a holier cause. The moral evils of our past inter- 
course lend an additional power to the voice of China, 
crying to British Christians, by the depth of her moral 
degradation, though not by her consciousness of it, 
" Come over and help us." 

The Missionary work in China is not devoid of en- 
couragements. Let the Missionaries of the Cross de- 
monstrate, by the holiness of their lives, by the circum- 
spectness of their walk, and by their abstinence from 
secular things, the universal benevolence of Chris- 
tianity, and the love which they bear to the souls of 
men ; and, above all, let the unceasing prayer for the 
blessing of the Holy Spirit rise continually before 
God ; and we doubt not that the seed-corn of truth, 
" cast upon the waters," will be seen, though " after 
many days." May the great Lord of the harvest, in 
answer to the prayer of His Church, send forth a nu- 
merous band of labourers, men of earnest prayer, of 
strong faith, and of self-denying zeal. In this glorious 
enterprise we are responsible for the character of our 
motives, and not for the measure of results. Duty is 
ours ; events are God's. The issue it is our happy 
privilege to leave in the hands of Infinite benevolence, 
looking forward to that day of universal recognition 
of the meanest labourer in this service, when, in the 
kingdom of their common Father, both " he that sow- 
eth and he that reapeth shall rejoice together." In 
the prospect of possible discouragement and difficulty, 
we may adopt, for our encouragement, the sentiments 


uttered sixty years ago by Swartz, that devoted 
apostle of Southern India, whose memory has been 
embalmed in the grateful recollections of numerous 
native converts ; and who now, in the Christian vil- 
lages of Tinnevelly, has found a monument nobler far 
than all the munificent wealth of native princes could 
rear to his name : 

" I cheerfully believe that God will build the waste 
places of this country. But should it be done after 
we are laid in the grave, what harm ? This country 
is covered with thorns : let us plough and sow good 
seed, and entreat the Lord to make it spring up. 
Our labour in the Lord, in His cause, and for His 
glory, will not be in vain." 

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709 Smith - 

364n A narrative of 
1847 an exploratory 

visit to each of 
the consular 


A 000 578 778 3 

cities of ^hina...